Military funeral planned for fallen soldier | NevadaAppeal.com

Military funeral planned for fallen soldier

William Ferchland
Nevada Appeal News Service

Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal News SErvice Members of an Army honor guard from Fort Campbell, Ky., practice Thursday afternoon at the Eastside Memorial Park, in Minden, in preparation for Saturday's funeral for Pfc. Phillip Brandon Williams. Williams, 21, a former Gardnerville resident, was killed last week while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. His unit was based out of Fort Campbell. The funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Douglas High School with a graveside service to follow at Eastside Memorial Park.

A long-lasting tradition will continue Saturday as the body of military police officer Brandon Williams, killed in Iraq, will be laid to rest.

A 21-gun salute, a bugler playing “Taps” and flag offering to Williams’ parents will mark the military funeral for the fallen soldier who was killed by sniper fire in Baghdad on Oct. 9.

The service will be punctuated with a motorcade involving several law enforcement agencies, specifically South Lake Tahoe Police Department where Williams’ father, Brad, and uncle, Brian, are sergeants.

“It will be just like if you see it on TV,” said Gary Jensen, manager of Fitzhenrys Funeral Home in Carson City. “It will be very professional, very well done.”

Williams’ brother, Justin, is a Marine assigned as a ceremony marcher at Arlington National Cemetery. Williams hoped to follow his family’s footsteps into law enforcement. He was in his first tour of Iraq and expected to return on leave next month.

“It’s going to be pretty significant, I think,” Brian Williams said. “It’s going to be a very honoring tribute.”

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Williams’ grave will rest in the veterans’ section of the East Side Memorial Park in Minden.

His life will also be memorialized in a monument dedicated to veterans in Placerville. Although all the roughly 1,000 bricks, which will be engraved with soldiers names, were sold out, the founder of the memorial used the last available one to etch Williams’ name.

“I felt so bad for him,” said Rich Buchanan, founder of the memorial, after talking with Brad Williams.

Buchanan, a Marine who received the Navy Cross for his service, has been to his share of military funerals.

“It’s all according to tradition and in that tradition there is a certain solace,” he said.

An open casket public viewing of Williams will be held Friday at Fitzhenrys Funeral Home at 1380 Highway 395 in Gardnerville.

On Saturday morning a motorcade will escort Williams’ body to Douglas High School where services will commence at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service at the East Side Memorial Park in Minden.