CLEBURNE — The remains of a North Texas soldier who was killed in Afghanistan were returned home on Saturday.
Sgt. First Class Riley Stephens died in combat on September 28. The Tolar High School graduate leaves behind a wife and three children, and the support of an entire community.
Complete strangers braved the cold wind to pay their respoects as Sgt. Stephens' body arrived by jet transport at the Cleburne Regional Airport.
As his casket was unloaded from the plane, dozens of people stood by with flags in hand and heavy hearts to salute a man who gave his life to save others.
"It's hard, but he did a sacrifice for the USA... what more could I say? It's the best sacrifice he could have ever made," said Cathy Cook.
Patriot Guard motorcycle riders led the procession to a funeral home in Granbury. Services were scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Tolar Baptist Church.
Sgt. Stephens will be buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.