Hundreds Pay Respect To A Fallen Soldier

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

He was a soldier, husband, father and now a casualty of war. Sunday, the family of Staff Sergeant Terry Prater received hundreds of friends, and even strangers, wanting to pay their respects.

The American flag waves proudly in honor of the life of 25 year old Terry Prater. The husband and father of two was killed during his third tour of duty in Iraq. Here he is remembered, but here he was at peace, fishing on the waters of Norris Lake. In fact, family members say he accepted that third assignment, in part, to pay for a new boat he planned to dock here. Instead, he becomes one of the latest of the 3,230 Americans to die in the war in Iraq.

Lifelong Maynardville resident Lynn Muncey says the sacrifice is unimaginable.

"I think it's a tragedy to all these young people that have to go over there and sacrifice their life." Muncey said.

"Tennessee has a proud heritage in having fighting men and women in the armed forces, and unfortunately with that comes these types of incidences." said Senator Michael Williams.

Now, instead of fishing and docking a boat here, Terry Prater's family will spread his ashes here. The funeral procession will begin at Claiborne Funeral Home and end in a private ceremony off the waters of Norris Lake, the parents without son, wife without a husband, and children without a father.

On the other side of the world, in the chaos that is Iraq, Staff Sergeant Terry Prater will soon be at peace.

Half of Staff Sergeant Prater ashes will be scattered along his favorite fishing spot Monday. He was just 25 years old.

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