Sunday, February 24, 2013

SSG David C. Stewart, United States Army, Ret.

David Stewart passed away on February 4, 2013 in Temple, Texas at the age of 69.

David proudly served his country in the United States Army for 20 years as a Still Photographic Specialist and Unit Supply Specialist.  His service included three consecutive tours of duty in Vietnam and a tour in Berlin.

Following his retirement from the Army, David taught at the Strategic Training for Unit Deployment Center at Fort Hood, Texas.  When not working, he found enjoyment in volunteering with Special Olympics, Kairos Prison Ministry, Pray For A Soldier Team and the Patriot Guard Riders.

David and his wife, Marilyn, spent many years taking in abandoned, abused and unwanted dogs, until his declining health and the birth of their grandsons led to their reluctant decision to close their doors as a shelter.

David's friendly, outgoing presence enriched many lives through the years, and his loss leaves a great void for many.

An Inurnment Service was held for David  on February 13 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.

In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags around the committal shelter during the service.

David's minister spoke to the gathered family and friends, read scripture from the Bible, and said a final prayer.  A female soloist sang, A Capella, Peace in the Valley.

The United States Army Honor Detail then afforded to David full military honors.  The detail of five rifles, standing on the hillside above the shelter, with the clear blue sky in the background, fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country.

The Army bugler played  always mournful Taps, as all in attendance stood and offered an appropriate salute.

Two Army Non-Commissioned Officers carefully unfolded the American flag that had rested next to the cremains.

It was refolded into a tight triangle and presented to Marilyn, who has been married to David for 36 years, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for David's honorable and faithful service.

Folded flags, which had been carefully cradled by Patriot Guard Riders, were also presented to David's daughter, Heather, and to his brother Ken.

SSG David C. Stewart was then laid to rest in a special area, near the entrance to the cemetery, where his father-in-law, CW4 Bobby Smith was laid to rest on June 12, 2012.  The American flag was flying at half-staff on the hill above in his honor.

The photo below depicts David, in his motorized wheel chair, at the service for his father-in-law, as Marilyn was receiving the folded flag on that occasion.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, his daughter, two grandsons, his brother and his wife and numerous other dear family, friends and Patriot Guard Riders.

Peace in the Valley

Well, I'm tired and so weary
But I must go along
Till the lord comes and calls, calls
me away, oh yeah
Well the morning's so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as black as
the sea, oh yes.

Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolf will be tame
And the lion shall lay down, by the lamb, oh yes
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be led by a child
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes.

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, oh my Lordy, no trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me, for me.

 With thanks to Marilyn Stewart for biographical information.

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