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Soldier coming home
Body of Sgt. Brock Chavers flying into Statesboro today
Sgt. Brock H. Chavers Sr. - photo by FILE
    The body of a National Guard soldier from Portal, killed in action last week in Afghanistan, will be accompanied by a formal escort today as his body arrives home to Bulloch County.
    Funeral arrangements are also being finalized for Sgt. Brock H. Chavers Sr., 25,  who lost his life when a bomb exploded near his Humvee in Afghanistan.
    Chavers' body is expected to arrive at the Statesboro-Bulloch County Municipal Airport around 12:15 p.m., and will be escorted from there, along U.S. 301 North, to Packinghouse Road.
    Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies, Statesboro Police, Portal Police and possibly other local law enforcement officers will participate in the escort, as well as units from  the Bulloch County Fire Department, Statesboro Fire Department, Bulloch County EMS and other agencies, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
    "We will escort him to Hill's Mortuary on Packinghouse Road, and then again for the funeral," said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson. "We wanted to show our respect and support for his service."
    The escort will also include members of the Patriot Guard, a group of "primarily motorcyclists that exists to show families of fallen soldiers that they don't grieve alone," said Bill Gaskin, Rider Captain for the group.
    More information about the Patriot Guard can be found on Internet web site
    Soldiers and others across the nation have posted notes of condolence and support on the web site, honoring and remembering soldiers killed in the line of duty. Several posts are in honor of  Chavers.
    One writer said "Thank you Sgt. Chavers for your service and sacrifice for our nation and way of life. It's only because of heroes like you that we understand the meaning of the word Freedom. May God welcome you into that special place He has reserved for those who serve."
    Another post read:  "Each and every breath of fresh air that we take for granted is made possible because of the sacrifices of heroes like US Army National Guard SGT Brock Chavers. Our most sincere condolences are sent  ...  to the family and friends of this American Hero. It is because of his willingness serve in harms way that allow us to live free. He served as a defender of our freedom, may he now rest in peace with God, his mission is complete."
    Chavers' mother, Lois Chavers, confirmed Tuesday that her son's funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church on Lakeview Road in Statesboro. Burial will follow at Bulloch Memorial Gardens, she said.
    Anderson said local law enforcement officers began discussing a way to pay tribute to Chavers as soon as they learned of his death.
    "Several of our guys have been to Iraq and are in the National Guard," he said. "We just felt like we owed him and his family ( a show of support and appreciation)."
    Chavers was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, Americus, Ga.
    He was married to Sgt. Minnie Chavers, also a National Guard soldier, and the father of a son,  Brock Chavers Jr. and a stepdaughter, Tamecia Reason. He also has siblings in the military.
    Escort organizers said they expect citizens will appear along the travel route Wednesday to show community support for the Chavers family.

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