SPOKANE -- The Air Force brought Sergeant First Class Clifford Beattie's body back to Spokane County Thursday. The 37-year-old was killed in an explosion last month.
There to escort his body at the Spokane Airport to Hazen and Jaeger Funeral Home on North Monroe were members of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Beattie died last week in Baghdad, Iraq when an improvised explosive device hit his unit. This was his third tour of duty. He leaves behind two teenagers and a wife who is also serving in Iraq. Patriot Guard Riders said it was an honor to be there this morning to bring Beattie home.
"It's quite an honor for us to be here today. We don't like the circumstances, but it's very humbling for us to stand here and watch one of our own be carried the way that he is," said Patriot Guard Rider Pam Moist.
"We've been in combat and we've come home. We are lucky enough that our families didn't lose us. It's extremely important for us that the families of our KIA's know that people care about their loved one's service and they care about their families," said Patriot Guard Rider Larry Griffith.
Beattie's parents said they have decided to bury their son at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning in Cheney at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.