Fayetteville mourns as remains of soldiers come home

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The streets were lined as people pay respects to the fallen soldiers.

The caskets of two Fort Bragg soldiers killed in Niger arrived in Fayetteville on Monday afternoon. The Patriot Guard escorted the remains of Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson once they landed at RDU.

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Hundreds waited and watched for the bodies of Black and Johnson. They lined both sides of Ramsey Street while comforting each other and the little ones. Many organizations were on hand to pay their respects.

"The VFW, we honor those coming back. Even though they may be deceased, they're still serving," said veteran Mike Unruh.

Current service members were among the group. It was a hard sight to watch for Kimmi Nettles, who knows Black and his family.

WATCH: Soldiers' remains arrive at RDU
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The remains of soldiers killed in Niger arrived at RDU airport on Monday.

"He was very quiet. Very honorable. He was just an upstanding guy," Nettles said. "He was funny, but very stoic. He took everything very seriously."

Once the hearse and motorcade arrived, those in the crowd teared up. Their hands covered their heavy hearts.

"Out of respect for the family and soldier who has given his life for his country," said veteran John Shelander. "I know it's been cold where they've been. They've got rained on. I know all the hardship they've gone through. Just a little bit of cold and rain don't hurt no one out here."

The two soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice and are now home with a community that will continue to honor their life and legacy.

Black's family will have a wake for him on Tuesday from 6-9pm at Jernigan-warren funeral home and it's open to the public. They also ask that anyone willing to show their support to come to the funeral at the Northwood Temple Church, located at 4250 Ramsey Street Wednesday. The service will start at 2:00 p.m.

Black will be laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery on October 30.
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Fayettevillefort bragg newssoldier killedRDURDUFayettevilleFort BraggCumberland County
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