By IVY HERRON
The public is invited to honor the memory and service of Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Hines, who was recently killed in Iraq, as the Marine Corps Honor Detail escorts his casket and family from the Indianapolis Airport to Casey, Ill. The procession will travel through Clay County tonight along U.S. 40.
"We hope that communities along the procession route will join us in paying our final respects for this young man who paid the ultimate price for our country," said Lt. Col. Ron Benda of the Terre Haute Marine Corps Leagues.
Benda said Hines, 26, of Westfield, Ill, was recently able to come home and visit his wife, Caryn, and hold his new son, Riley, before returning to Iraq.
"What words can you say in times like this? This is such a tragic story, and I don't say that lightly," Benda said. "This is a chance for people who want to pay respect to this fine young soldier, but weren't sure how to."
Hines was killed along with Sergeant Brock Babb while conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq on October 15. Babb, 40, of Evansville, IN, was buried this morning in his hometown.
A third soldier, Lance Corporal Joshua Bleill, 29, of Greenfield, IN, is recovering from injuries to his legs in Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maryland.
The three Marines were assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines, stationed in Terre Haute, IN.
"Upon arrival at Indianapolis Airport about 8:30 Wednesday evening, there will be a full military honors ceremony by the Marine Corps Honor Detail," Benda said. "Then, along with the family, Lance Corporal Hines will be escorted from Indianapolis to Casey, Ill. His funeral will take place Friday morning, at 10 a.m. at the Casey United Methodist Church."
The procession will leave the airport, turn onto I-70 west to S.R. 267 in Plainfield, exit west on U.S. 40 to Terre Haute and then continue on to Casey, Ill.
Different law enforcement agencies along the route will provide security for the procession as a way for communities to be involved.
If scheduling goes as planned, according to Benda, the Clay County Sheriff's Department will escort the procession through the county starting at approximately 10:30 p.m. The Brazil City Police Department are expected to join the procession at the city limits shortly afterwards.
"This is short notice, but we hope that people have plenty of time to plan various ways of showing their condolences, like signs, candles, flags or any other display of respect," he said. "We are contacting as many law enforcement and fire department agencies, veterans organizations and media outlets as we can so people who want to can participate."
For additional information about the procession for Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Hines, contact Lt. Col. Ron Benda at 812-235-8636.
"We want to show this grieving family how much we appreciate Joshua's sacrifice for us all," Benda said. "We are so proud of him, of his family. We are proud of all our servicemen."