It was a somber homecoming for the family of William "Billy" Edwards.
Marykay and Billy Edwards held back tears, as they waited for the plane carrying their son's body.
Almost one week ago, Billy was killed by a sniper in Iraq. The Army Private First Class had only been in Iraq for three months.
Knowing the tragedy of war, veterans who served in wars before stood alongside the family to show their support. Understanding that answering the call to serve is a sacrifice for his family and theirs, strangers also waited for Edwards' body to be returned.
Appropriately gray, solemn clouds heavy with rain blanketed the sky as the plane touched down. Stoically with silent respect, Edwards' military brothers and sisters removed his casket from the plane.
As they marched, the rain fell and so did tears from people in the crowd as an offering of condolences. It was a display of honor befitting a soldier who served his country with everything he had to give.
Moments before Edwards' casket was placed into the hearse, his mother and father embraced.
Edwards' funeral is scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. in Lyons.
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