Saturday, April 14, 2007

Eric Vick laid to rest

NASHVILLE – A local soldier was honored for his life and sacrifice Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Eric Reid Vick, 25, of Spring Hope was killed by a roadside bomb April 1 in Baghdad during his third deployment in Iraq. The funeral service was held at Cornerstone Funeral Home & Cremations and followed by a burial at Peachtree Cemetery in Spring Hope.

Before the funeral, almost 100 people stood in the parking lot holding U.S. flags. Many of them were members of the Patriot Guard Riders of North Carolina, which is part of a national group that is devoted to showing respect at funerals for soldiers killed in combat, and to keep protesters from interrupting such services.

N.C. State Patriot Guard Rider Captain Michael Haluski, an Army veteran, called Vick a "fallen hero."

"He gave his all for us, and we want the family to know that first of all, we appreciate their sacrifice; second of all, that America has not forgotten them nor abandoned them; and third, that Eric will not be forgotten," he said.

Vick enlisted in the Army in 2002 and trained as an infantryman at Fort Benning, Ga. His first assignment was to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. In 2005, he was reassigned to Fort Drum, N.Y., as a military policeman in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

Vick was killed when he and three other soldiers were responding to a roadside attack that had taken the lives of two other soldiers, said Reginald Vick, his father. Their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, he said.

Vick leaves behind his wife, Stephanie; parents, Reginald and Faye Harper; and brother, Milton.

From the Telegram

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