It gives you chill bumps to see the kind of tribute displayed along the route as a motorcade traveled to Sgt. Wade D. Wilson's hometown of Leona, and then to Centerville, Friday. In both towns hundreds lined the streets to welcome home the fallen Marine, and even for those who didn't know Sgt. Wilson, it was an emotional experience.
"There's no greater love than you can show to lay down your life for in this case your country," said Harlon Pickett, a Leon County resident.
A procession on Friday marks one of the last times residents in Leona will see Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson. The 22-year old Marine Sergeant was killed during combat in Afghanistan one week before.
"I think about his mother. What she's going through I can't even imagine," said Jet Seale, who like many didn't even know Wilson, but she knew what he sacrificed for his country. "Everybody just appreciates what he's done for his country," said Seale.
In the small town it's an appreciation that will last a lifetime and beyond.
"It's about showing patriotism for one that gives their life for their country."
The following is the obituary for Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson:
Funeral services for Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson will be held at 10 AM, Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the Centerville High School Auditorium. Bro. Joe Dacus, pastor of Leona Baptist Church, will officiate and interment with full military honors presented by the U.S.M.C. will be held at Evans Chapel near Leona, Texas.
Sgt. Wilson passed away Friday, May 11, 2012 while conducting combat operations in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Sgt. Wilson was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine, Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, California.
Survivors include mother & step-father, Cindy Lee (Lowry) & Ward Easterling of Leona; father & step-mother, Mitchell Boyd "Rusty" & Tammy Wilson of Livingston; 3 brothers & 1 sister.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Sgt. Wade Wilson requests that donations be made to the "Sgt. Wade Daniel Wilson Scholarship Fund" set up at Citizens State Bank in Buffalo and Centerville or any Wells Fargo location. Also, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a favorite charity of Wade's to which he regularly donated.
In order to show your support for Sgt. Wilson and his family the public is being asked to line the street during the funeral procession to the cemetery. The route will begin in Centerville on Highway 75 South to Leona and continue on Highway 977 West to the Evans Chapel Cemetery.