Texans Say Goodbye to Lance Corporal Brandon T. Lara, U.S.M.C.
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July 26, 2009: While returning to Dallas from a weekend trip to San Antonio my wife and I came across this scene. As we approached the town of New Braunfels, Texas we noticed police cars with their emergency lights on sitting at the entrance ramps of the interstate, they had nobody pulled over, they were just sitting there. On the bridge, two fire trucks and an ambulance, again with lights running, but there was no visible reason for this.

The next exit was the same, police cars, fire trucks and ambulance with lights running. We knew that something was happening, but we did not know what. I told my wife that if the next exit was the same that I was pulling off to find out what was going on.

I saw a police cruiser at the exit and began to pull over when my wife said "look at the bridge". Atop the bridge was the scene above, this is the Rueckle Rd. bridge which goes over interstate 35, the major north south highway between San Antonio and Austin. When this photo was taken I still was not aware of what everyone was doing.

The gentleman in the foreground holding the flag (sadly I did not get his name), told me the gathered crowd was waiting for the funeral procession of a local Marine who had lost his life in Iraq, Lance Corporal Brandon T. Lara.
Brandon was a 20 year old Marine who was killed in Al-Ansar province on July 19, 2009 and he was being brought home at this moment.

As time went on more people holding flags arrived to pay their respect to Brandon.

The crowd still growing on the bridge over IH-35.

A view from atop the bridge.
(All photos © 2009 Michael W. Pocock
and MaritimeQuest.com all rights reserved)

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Page published July 27, 2009