Friday, October 19, 2012

CWO2 Stephen Doughty, United States Army Veteran

Stephen Doughty was born on November 26, 1946 in Rhinebeck, New York and passed away August 4, 2012, at the age of 65, at a hospital in the Temple, Texas area.

Stephen proudly served his country in the United States Army in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.  His many military decorations include the Army Air Medal and multiple awards of the Army Commendation Medal.

At the time of his death, Stephen was homeless, and alone. There were no known living relatives on the occasion of his passing, so an interment service was planned to be held with the Patriot Guard Riders acting as his family.

That service was held on September 4 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  In attendance were scores of Riders who lined the road in front of the committal shelter. 

Six of the Riders transferred the flag draped coffin from the hearse to the shelter.  The Riders then  gathered in the committal shelter for the interment service.

A member of the Riders, who is a chaplain, said a few words for Stephen and led the congregants in final prayers. 

Military honors were rendered by the United States Army Honor Guard.  Taps was played, while the Riders stood at attention and saluted.

The American flag that covered the casket was carefully folded into a tight triangle and passed to Army Lt. Serna, who presented the flag to the Patriot Guard Riders Ride Captain, as a token of appreciation of a grateful nation and the United States Army for Stephen's faithful and dedicated service to his country.

CWO2 Stephen Doughty was then laid to rest on the sloping plain of the cemetery as the American flag flew at half-staff on the hill above in his honor.

A sister of Stephen, who lives in Virginia, was subsequently located and contacted.  The folded flag was encased in a glass fronted flag box, sent to Patriot Guard Riders in Virginia, and presented to Stephen's sister, at her home, on October 13.

With thanks to Marianne Lijewski, Killeen Daily Herald, Jim McGinley and Ceej Foy for photographs.

Link to news report.

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