By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
The plane that arrived at 11:00 a.m. Friday could not have be carrying more precious cargo.
"He's an American soldier," said SSG Steve Blass's mother Carol.
An American soldier, who loved to fly, took his final flight.
"Seeing the airplane land brought it back to my heart so much," said his father Randy.
Patriot riders protected a grieving family. The red, white, and blue waved in the wind, as the flag-draped casket of SSG Blass was lowered onto the tarmac.
"It was very heart-wrenching to see the casket come out with the flag on it," added Randy.
This scene is playing out in all corners of the country. Fourteen U.S. service members have died in the last two weeks. Families are forever tied together by this solemn ceremony. Blass's young wife Tricia welcomed her husband home, with a son, too young to understand his father's sacrifice.
"He was a good dad, he was a good husband. He loved his wife, he loved his son, and he loved his country," said Carol.
Suddenly, that sacrifice became all too real.
"Freedom isn't free," Carol added tearfully, describing the events of the day.
In all of the sadness there was a quiet comfort for the couple.
"I could reach out to him. Touch him one more time. It felt like there was a little bit of a void being filled. I knew Steve was in there, but I knew that he was home," described Randy.
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