Thursday, July 05, 2007

Frank Walkup laid to rest

WOODBURY, Tenn. — A different kind of Independence Day parade took place Wednesday, with Patriot Guard motorcycles leading mourners to where 1st Lt. Frank Walkup IV was buried.

Walkup, 23, was killed in an explosion June 16 in Kirkuk, Iraq. He was a graduate of Riverdale High School.

"The outpouring from the community for this family has been like something I've never witnessed," said Audrey Baron, Frank's grandmother.

Neighbors and people who'd never even met the Walkup family have brought meals and drinks to the home daily for the past two weeks, she said.

Walkup was great leader

First Lt. James Caggy, who flew in from New York to attend Walkup's funeral, was affected by the patriotism he witnessed.

"I hope every warrior receives the same treatment Frank did," said Caggy, Walkup's "battle buddy" at Ranger School.

Lt. Col. Doyle Boyd, the senior Army instructor at Riverdale High in Murfreesboro, said the seeds that make an excellent soldier were instilled in Walkup long before he ever met him in the school's Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corp.

"Even as a young man, Frank led from the front," Boyd said. "His attributes made him a great leader, and young people gravitate towards someone with that type of leadership."

However, it was Walkup's personal qualities that stand out in Boyd's mind.

"Whenever Frank walked in the room, no matter how things were going, it got better, and I don't know how he did it," the lieutenant colonel said. "Everybody loved Frank. If you did get mad at him, you couldn't stay mad at him, he was just one of those types of guys."

During the memorial service Brig. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco awarded Walkup the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge for his service.

The honors were presented to the soldier's wife, Sabita Maharaj Walkup; parents, Frank & Mitzi Walkup of Woodbury and Melissa Oaks of Memphis.

From the Tennessean

Related Link:
Frank Walkup remembered

Related Link:
Frank B. Walkup IV dies 'from injuries sustained in Rashaad Iraq, when an IED detonated near his position during dismounted operations'