A soldier killed in shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, earlier this month was buried today in Rolla.
Hundreds of people from across the country paid their respects to Army Sergeant Tim Owens.
Sgt. Owens, 37, was buried with full military honors after his services at Rolla??s First Baptist Church. Owens was one of 3 soldiers killed April 2 by another soldier Ivan Lopez at Fort Hood, Texas. Lopez also wounded 16 people before committing suicide. Butch Koerber was Owens?? little league coach.
Koerber said, ??I consider anybody that puts their life on the line for the country as a hero.??
Dozens of law enforcement officers and more than 100 Patriot Guard motorcycle riders lead the funeral procession from Rolla to a nearby cemetery.
Patriot Guard Riders Ride Captain Mark Williams said, ??If we as Patriot Guard Riders can provide even a small measure of comfort to the family, then we completed our mission.??
The riders also escorted Owens?? body from St. Louis before the funeral.
Patriot Guard Rider Reed Hickam said, ??We were traveling from Dixon to here with the body and at every overpass there were people. I??m glad that I wore sunglasses at the time because it hides the pride that leaks out of my eyes.??
Some people like Monique Pinkston of St. James never met Sgt. Owens, but had to pay their respects.
Pinkston said, ??I??m here to show support because this young man was a soldier defending our country and our rights that are so valuable to us.??
Owens is originally from Effingham, Illinois and joined the army 10 years ago. He served in Iraq and Kuwait.
He was a graduate of Rolla High School. More than 2,300 flags waved in the wind in honor of the fallen soldier.
The governors of both Illinois and Missouri ordered flags flown at half-staff for Sgt. Owens.