A member of the U.S. military killed in Afghanistan will get a hero's welcome when he returns to his hometown of Reynoldsburg, Ohio Friday to be laid to rest.
A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Stephen F. Byus, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Sept. 17, 2014, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Byus was assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command, Afghanistan. (Image source: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Johnson)
Friends and community members have lined the roads the funeral procession is scheduled to take with thousands of miniature American flags for Stephen F. Byus, 39, who was killed in combat serving his third tour of duty overseas with the Navy.
"He's going to ride home with a stream of red, white and blue," Rex Stroth, who has volunteered placing the flags and went to school with Byus, told TheBlaze.
[sharequote align="center"]"He's going to ride home with a stream of red, white and blue."[/sharequote]
Stroth said that volunteers had spent he past several days lining about 20 miles of road with approximately 8,000 to 9,000 flags.
"Just the other day — two days ago — when I was putting out flags, I saw a car stop and it was his mother. And she got out and she gave me a hug and we cried for a few minutes," he told TheBlaze. "It was really touching."
Byus was killed earlier this month when a Taliban car bomb attacked a motorcade near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
On Friday, a large American flag was unfolded before a football game, followed by a moment of silence in his honor.
The 39-year-old leaves behind a wife and heartbroken community.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter