Clouds gathered and a chill filled the air Saturday as Pfc. Floyd E. Bright’s comrades bid him farewell on his final journey home.
Bright, who died in a traffic accident Friday, was the second American soldier killed in Bosnia during the NATO-led mission to safeguard peace.
Soldiers from Russia, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey and Britain, as well as the United States, were among those forming a 22-person honor guard wishing the 19-year-old from Houston, Texas goodbye.
Bright died Friday night when the supply truck in which he was riding ran off a temporary bridge, overturned and dropped about 20 yards. The accident happened near the town of Gornje Babine, southeast of Tuzla.
The driver of the truck, Pvt. Joseph E. Dory, 22, of Edwards, Colo., suffered a broken shoulder and bruises. He was reported in good condition at a mobile Army surgical hospital.
An Army Humvee carrying Bright’s body drove slowly to the flight line at Tuzla Air Base, the headquarters of U.S. forces in Bosnia. Six pallbearers lifted the container case and stood for just a few moments at the head of the honor guard.
The chaplain, Lt. Col. Scott McChrystal, read from the 23rd Psalm. The commander of the U.S. peacekeepers, Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, stood at attention in front of the honor guard.
The pallbearers then marched through the two-column honor guard. The soldiers presented their arms in tribute as the container passed and was loaded on a plane that would take the body to Ramstein, Germany, before heading home.
Army spokesman Col. Mark A. Brzozowski said the cause of the accident was under investigation. He said that at the time - about 9:30 p.m. - it was raining and foggy, and the roads were muddy.
The roads and bridges in Bosnia are in poor shape. The narrow, winding roads are often filled with gaping potholes, and are particularly dangerous when snow is on the ground.
The first U.S. soldier killed in Bosnia was Sgt. 1st Class Donald A. Dugan, 38, of Ridgeway, Ohio, who detonated a land mine. Three Americans have been injured by mines and 10 in traffic accidents.
The following fields overflowed: DATELINE = TUZLA AIR BASE, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Click here to comment on this story »