Fort Hood soldier's body makes trip home to NC, family

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The remains of 20-year-old Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates made their journey home to North Carolina.

Her mom's cries could be heard as soon as the casket was carried off the plane. Mom first placed her hand, then head where the American flag was draped. The remains of 20-year-old Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates made their final journey home to North Carolina on Friday afternoon.

The mother of 20-year-old Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates grieves over her daughter's casket at RDU airport Friday.



About 50 family members and friends received the body.

There was a motorcycle procession, from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to the Sandhills, where folks who knew Gates believed her future was as big and bright as her smile.

Soldiers prepare to take the casket off the plane Friday.



"I'm just sorry that this happened because she would have been a wonderful leader, not only for our community but for everybody's lives she touched," said her former teacher Elizabeth Dherde.

About 50 family members and friends waited for the plane carrying the casket of Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates.



Gates died last Thursday in Texas. She was one of nine soldiers killed during a training exercise at Fort Hood.

The Army says heavy rains and swift floodwaters swept a tactical truck off the road.

Days before the tragedy, Gates was home in Dunn for Memorial Day weekend and visited her alma mater. She stopped by Triton High School to mentor cadets.

The remains of 20-year-old Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates made their journey home to North Carolina.



Gates was in ROTC and a member of its drill team.

She often came back to the school to help those around her.

About 50 family members and friends waited for the plane carrying the casket of Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates.



Triton Principal Chip Mangum said more than being an excellent student, she was an inspiration to others.

"They were very appreciative of her help and she wanted to give back because that meant something to her," he said.

The plane carrying the casket of Pvt. Eddy Rae' Laurin Gates arrives at RDU airport Friday.



There will be a visitation Saturday at Colvin Funeral Home in Fayetteville from 6-8 p.m. and a church service Sunday at 2 p.m. at Kingdom Impact Global Ministries.

Gates will then be buried Monday with full military honors in Charleston.

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