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A Soldier Comes Home

By Floyd Miller



Paul Balint, Jr. was born in Abilene, graduated from High School in Centerville, VA and died fighting for his country in Iraq on December 15th. His wish was to be buried where he was born in favor of the many places he lived so he was honored here on Saturday, December 23rd, 2007. A military funeral {{more}} with full honors is hard to watch. This was a young man of 22 who dreamed of serving his country as a Combat Infantry Soldier and fell living his dream. Other young men that entered service from all around the country come to stand Honor Guard over their fallen comrade. This occasion had Honor Guards from not only PFC Balint’s chosen branch Army of the military by soldiers of the 3rd ACR “Brave Rifles” stationed at Ft. Hood but airmen of Dyess AFB added a second Honor Guard while the active duty members of the Abilene region Marine Reserve’s Fourth Maintenance Battalion added another. Lining the route with American flags were Patriot Guard Riders from all over the country. Also present was the Liberty and Law display sponsored by the Association of Conservatives of Texas with David Hall ringing the bell as the procession entered Elmwood Memorial Park. Major General David Ralston of Ft. Sill, OK presented the folded flag to Paul’s mother along with the Purple Heart award and Bronze Star. He told this reporter that it is now Army policy for a General Officer to present the flag to show full honor for our fallen soldiers. The final rifle salute shatters the quiet; a lone bugler sounds out Taps; arms are stacked and the detail carefully removes the Flag from the casket, folding it by time honored tradition to show a star at each tip of the triangle. The flag is presented to wife or mother and final farewells said as another soldier comes home to their final rest.

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The West Texas Tribune is a community-based newspaper that has been published, uninterrupted, since May 2005. Our goal is to highlight events and people throughout West Texas as an independent, locally run newspaper. We thrive on the support of our local community.

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