DENISON, TX -- Nearly a month ago we told you first about a Colbert Marine who died while working for a contractor in Iraq. And now, Michael David Copeland's body is finally home.
For about a month, Michael David's family was fighting to bring his body home. Saturday night, he came home to a grand, but somber homecoming.
37-year-old Michael David Copeland died nearly a month ago while working for DynCorp International on aircraft maintenance in Iraq. He had worked there for less than a week.
Saturday night, after weeks of fighting to bring him home, his body arrived.
"I don't think words can describe it," said Angela Copeland, Michael David's wife.
Michael David and his family were greeted by dozens of oklahoma and Texas patriot guard members at the Exxon off of Highway 75 in Denison.
"We had a motorcycle escort from the parking lot back over to the cargo area where we picked him up at, and the Texas state troopers escorted us to here and we couldn't believe when we saw all this. I didn't know it was going to be like this. This is really amazing," said Mike Copeland, Michael David's father.
The Oklahoma and Texas Patriot Guard showed their support by making sure Copeland got the honorable homecoming he deserved.
"It just means so much to the families. And the families lost a child and some of us lost a child we know the grief that it goes through and if theres anything we can do to make it easier on them and to honor their son, that's what we're here for," said Dan Pipin, State Captain with the Oklahoma Patriot Riders.
"We're stepping up to help the family, like I say, when they need us, and to pay honor to the veteran on his last ride basically," said Randy Livingston, Senior Ride Captain with the Texas Patriot Riders.
And it's the support the community has shown that Michael David's family says helped bring him home.
"We're proud to have him home and we're really taken aback by all this," said Mike Copeland.
"I'm so thankful that everyone's here, and the community is here. If it weren't for the community and friends and family, he might not be here," said Angela Copeland.
Michael David's funeral will be held Tuesday morning at 10 at Brown's funeral home in Durant. He will be buried in Silo.
The cause of his death is still unknown.
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