Soldier's Body Returned Home

CENTER, TX (KTRE)- It was a day of emotion as family, friends, and the community gathered at the Center Municipal Airport, and watched as the airplane carrying the body of fallen soldier Specialist Cory Bertrand landed.

Last Tuesday, Cory was killed in Afghanistan. He'd been enlisted in the army for just a little over a year. Cory's Uncle, David Allen, says "He had found his calling in life and he was doing what he was supposed to be doing."

Because he knew his calling, being the best was not hard for Cory, just in his short military career he received serveral medals and ribbons including the Global War of Terrorism Medal and a Purple Heart.

"I know that Cory would want everybody to know that he served proudly and he served because that's what he wanted to do, was serve his country and serve America, that's Cory," says Allen emotionally.

Members of his infantry were honored to stand and salute their fellow soldier, but say they never get used to it. Terrell Walker, Sergeant 1st Class NCOIC of Brigade S3-Shop says, "Cory is the 14th, 15th soldier that we've lost since the unit has been deployed. We don't' like hearing it. We don't like dealing with it sometimes but it's part of the job."

Cory's family says his death sends a stronger message to us all. "I think we need to remember out of all of this, there's two wars going on. And we have service men and women that lay down their lives for their country and the ideals of America. Too often here, we don't feel the sacrifice unless you have a member that falls in the military service," says David Allen.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 1pm at the Mangum Funeral Home Chapel in Center, Texas. The burial will follow at Pleasant Hill cemetery in Shelbyville with full military honors.