The remains of a Kirksville soldier killed a week ago in Iraq returned to his hometown this morning.
Army Sergeant Brandon Maggart, 24, died Aug. 22 in Basrah, Iraq of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire. He is survived by his wife, Teresa and their 3-year-old son, Blake, his parents, Teddy and Beth Maggart of Kirksville, a grandmother, Sandy Maggart of Brashear, a brother living out-of-state, a sister, Ashley Lloyd of Unionville, his parents-in-law and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
The funeral is Wednesday at 6:00 at the Kirksville Middle School Gym; burial in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery at Jacksonville. Visitation is Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Travis-Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville.
When Marine Lance Corporal Rex Page was killed in action in 2006, residents lined Highway 63 all the way from Kirksville to Jacksonville, as his funeral procession traveled to the Veterans’ Cemetery at Jacksonville. His father, Larry Page, is now a Chaplain with the Patriot Guard.
Page began serving as a Chaplin with the Patriot Guard after his son’s funeral, and he will be conducting the services for Maggart.
The Westboro Baptist Church, known for its anti-American and anti-homosexuality teachings, has announced its members will be at the funeral Wednesday.
According to a statement on its website, the group will be at the Kirksville Middle School at 5:15 Wednesday. The Sergeant’s funeral service begins at 6. Westboro’s members typically protest at military funerals, claiming the death of soldiers is God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality. Its signs and chants heavily feature profanity and slurs.
The Patriot Guard, which formed in part to stand between the families of grieving soldiers and protestors from the Westboro organization, will have a flag line at the school. The Guard encourages anyone that wants to join that flag line to do so.