Honoring A Soldier

Today, friends and family packed the Christian Life Fellowship Church to mourn the death of SSG Darren Hubbell. He was one of three 3rd ID soldiers killed last week in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded.

Along with SSG Hubbel's loved ones, another group was also there to pay their respects in a different way. Members of the Patriot Guard came from all over Georgia to remember the fallen. State Captain, Gene Altman said, "95% of our missions are sad days like this. We go to all the funerals, we honor the soldiers and we protect the family from outside disturbances."

While there were no protests today, some anti-war groups have used demonstrations at soldier funerals to call attention to their cause. For that reason the riders travel the state to create a wall of people and flags between protestors and mourners. Altman said, "not today, we have 3 missions in the State of Georgia, we have one in Thomasville, one in Macon and one in Cobbtown." A few minutes of rain hardly dampened anyone's spirit. Altman says their group's happiest day will come when they're no longer needed, but they'll respond and ride as far as they must until then.

Inside the church, the service went on undisturbed. Darren's pastor and father in law, Reverend Murl Gwynn led the service. Then, Darren's wife Dana led loved ones outside where a rifle salute followed by taps helped lay Darren to rest as the first person buried in his church's cemetery. SSG Hubble leaves behind a wife, two children, and two step children.

Reported By: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

The Patriot Guard attends services around the country, but only at the invitation or permission of the soldier's family. For more information on The Patriot Guard, go to www.patriotguard.org.