Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Larry Bowman laid to rest

GRANITE FALLS - Army Sgt. Larry “Robby” Bowman was well known to many in the Dudley Shoals area of southern Caldwell County. Folks say he was the life of the party. With a chiseled face and Robert DeNiro looks, Bowman drew people around him.

“When he was around, cool things happened,” said a friend of Bowman.

Bowman drew a crowd again Sunday as hundreds packed Dudley Shoals Baptist Church for his funeral. Bowman, who spent the past several months on his second tour in the Middle East, was killed April 13 in Baghdad, Iraq, when a heavy vehicle he was driving struck a roadside bomb. Bowman, 29, was returning to his home base in Kuwait.

Many of his friends and fellow soldiers spoke during Bowman’s funeral. Command Sgt. Maj. Tabitha Hodge served with Bowman. She knew of his love of life, and of his wife, Michelle.

“Our task force had a Soldier of the Quarter award,” she said. “Bowman had to be approved before the board. He had to write an essay. In it, he mentioned his love for his wife.”

Michelle told of meeting her future husband for the first time.

“I was 15,” she said. “The very second I laid eyes on him, I gasped. He just took my breath away. He had such a wonderful presence and spirit. Everyone who knew him loved him.”

Three days after his death, Bowman was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. His family was handed the medals at the end of the funeral, along with two folded American flags.

The country boy always looking for adventure was buried less than three miles from his boyhood home.

From the Hickory Record

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