Fallen Soldier Killed In Iraq - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fallen Soldier Killed In Iraq: 'He's Coming Home With Recognition He Deserved'

SPOKANE AIRWAYS, Wash. - With his family waiting on the tarmac, the plane carrying the body of U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Clifford Beattie arrived at Spokane Airways Thursday in the southeast corner of the Spokane International Airport. The plane arrived around 10:30am greeted by a crowd of more than 100 family, friends, supporters and military personnel.

Beattie, of Medical Lake, died May 22 of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq.

Once the plane stopped, crews carefully lowered down the flag-draped casket as onlookers quietly watched. Then soldiers formed an honor guard and a bearer party to receive and slowly carried SFC Beattie's casket to a white hearse waiting nearby.

Nearly 50 members of local motorcycle groups led by the Patriot Guard Riders escorted the procession to the funeral home, Hazen and Jaeger on 1306 North Monroe Street.

Patriot Guard Spokesperson Larry Griffith said "We're brining somebody home the right way. We didn't want to bring him home this way and we didn't want to have to talk to his wife about it but if we have to bring him at least he's coming home the right way with the recognition that he earned."

Sergeant Beattie was described as "a soldier's soldier", a protector and loving family man. There's no doubt the community wanted to honor that legacy.

"First, I'm humbled that the family would invite us and then I'm honored the Patriot Guard has allowed me to be in a role where I'm responsible to make it happen for the family," Griffith continued.

Beattie was 37-years-old.

If you'd like to pay your respects, there is a funeral service with full military honors for Beattie this Saturday at the Chapel for Latter Day Saints on Melville Road in Cheney.

The service is open to the public.

FROM OUR FACEBOOK PAGE:

Family and friends of Sergeant Beattie have set up a page in memory of the fallen soldier and there are hundreds of comments remembering the Medical Lake native..

One person wrote, "Every time I hear your name, it brings tears to my eyes... just to think that you won't be coming back home... I miss you, and love you... I know you're up in heaven watching down on me, and I want you to know that I'm going to make you proud."

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