Town Greets Fallen Soldier

By James Gaddis

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 24, 2008 at 6:36 PM EST

A family from Delaware County is preparing to bury a soldier killed in Iraq.

The body of Justin Whiting was escorted home as the town of Hancock met the motorcade.

Silent...and somber.

Hugs...and tears.

This is not the hero's return the Town of Hancock expected.

"We came out to show our support for Justin."

27-year old Justin Whiting of Hancock was killed Saturday in Iraq by a road side bomb.

His family says he was the driver leading a convoy near Mosul.

Whiting's body was returned home this afternoon.

Main Street was lined with people, and American flags, as his
motorcade arrived.

"I feel a lot of love and appreciation. I just wanted to be here to show my appreciation," says Beverly Travis of Hancock.

Whiting was a Green Beret and had been in Iraq since October, serving his 3rd tour of duty.

He comes from a big military family, with a sister, brother and stepbrother all serving.

Hancock's Mayor says she recently spoke with the Whitings.

"They're heartsick and grieving and proud," says Hancock Mayor Sandra Karcher.

Students and staff at the nearby Hancock Central School showed their support.

A lunch manager at the school knew Whiting from the time he was a little boy.

"He was a fantastic student. Big heart. Had a great sense of humor. Just a really good person," says Joanne Rheaume of Deposit.

One that will be missed, and always remembered for his sacrifice.

Calling Hours for Whiting are Saturday from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Hancock.

The funeral Service is Sunday at 1 p.m.at the Hancock Central School.

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