DENISON -- It was nearly two weeks ago that 19-year-old Specialist Braden Long was killed in an attack in Baghdad. On Thursday, his body was escorted back to Texas to waiting family and friends.
The plane landed mid-morning carrying precious cargo. Braden was a soldier loved and respected by those who knew him and even those who didn't.
Armed forces, firefighters and police officers stood at attention and Boy Scouts raised the flag as the plane carrying the body of Specialist Braden Long touched down at Grayson County Airport, but it wasn't the homecoming his family had hoped for.
"It’s more than I expected. I couldn’t ask for more with the way he came back the only thing that would have been better is if he walked off the plane," said Braden’s wife, Teresa Long.
Just days earlier his family celebrated his birthday without him.
"I would talk to him and tell him ‘happy birthday’. I made him a card but it's at home."
As flags waved symbolizing the freedom long stood for, it’s a small comfort to his wife, Teresa, who now stands alone wondering where and how to start over.
"I wanted to keep him happy. Now I’m just standing around and I don’t know what to do. Braden was my world. Everything I did revolved around him."
Friends, fellow servicemen, and patriots hope they can show Teresa and the rest of Long family their support.
"Thank you for raising such a fine son. Thank you for his sacrifice," said Top Krammer of the Patriot Riders.
Teresa Long says she has gotten hundreds of messages that people are praying. She says she greatly appreciates all the support that people have given her and her family.
Funeral services for long are set for Sunday at the Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman.