Saturday, August 11, 2012

SSG Donald Sumner Jr., United States Army

Donald Sumner Jr. was born December 2, 1970 in Columbia, South Carolina and passed away at his residence in Harker Heights, Texas on June 16, 2012, at the age of 41.  Donald was on active duty in the United States Army at the time of his death.

Donald entered the Army in November 1988 as a motor transport operator.  He had been stationed at Fort Hood, Texas since August 2010 and was assigned to the 67th Forward Support Company, 41st Fires Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.  Donald had been deployed to Iraq from February 2003 to February 2004, January 2005 to January 2006, May 2007 to October 2007 and November 2008 to October 2009.

His numerous military decorations include four Army Commendation Medals, and seven Good Conduct Medals.

On June 22 a funeral service was conducted at the Heritage Funeral Home in Harker Heights.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags at the entrance to welcome the arriving family and friends.

After the service, the Riders led the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas where the family was warmly welcomed by fifty American flags lining the cemetery road.

The flag draped casket was solemnly moved from the hearse to the Committal shelter by the United States Army Honor Guard, and the Patriot Guard Riders formed a line of America flags around the shelter.

Army Chaplain Burden said the final prayers and led the gathering in The Lord's Prayer.  He concluded with the rite of committal:

Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground;  earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust;  in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ;  who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

The Army Honor Guard then rendered full military honors.  The detail of five rifles fired three volleys of fire representing Duty, Honor and Country.  The Army bugler played the always mournful Taps.

The American flag that draped the coffin was carefully folded into a tight triangle and ceremoniously passed to an Army Staff Sergeant, who presented it to Donald's dear wife, Catherine, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for Donald's honorable and faithful service.

Three additional folded flags were presented to Donald's children and to another family member.

SSG Donald Sumner Jr. was then laid to rest on the sloping plain of the cemetery as the American flag flew at half-staff at the top of the hill in his honor.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, his two children, a sister, his parents and many other dear family and friends.

With thanks to the Killeen Daily Herald for biographical information and to Ceej Foy for additional photo.

1 comment:

  1. Does the family know about this page?