SPRAGUE, Wash. - The small town of Sprague rallied late Thursday night to support their neighbors, the Clouse family, whose son, 22-year-old Justin Clouse, was killed Monday in Afghanistan.
Cpl. Clouse was one of five Americans killed in a friendly fire incident during an engagement with the Taliban.
After midnight the town, friends, family and even complete strangers, lined the streets to honor the Clouse family as they returned home.
"We are here for them and if they need anything ever, that we are more than willing to help," Lisa Rockey said.
"I wanted to pay respects to him because it's guys like him that we are free," John Warfield said.
Clouse returned back to the United States Thursday on a military transport which touched down at Dover AFB in Delaware. His family was there for the dignified transfer ceremony as he was taken from the aircraft by soldiers.
When his family returned home overnight, a fire truck escorted their car home, and the community followed behind, placing flags and candles in the family's front yard, singing "Amazing Grace" as they rallied in support of the Clouse family.
Small towns are like extended families; you share in the good times and come together during the bad times. In Sprague it's no different. It's not just the Clouse family that lost their son but an entire community.
"He was in the military and not only was he a part of our community and a human and a person we all cared about, he also served our country, he truly is a hero for that," Rockey said.
According to his aunt, Cpl. Clouse should be returning home sometime next week.
- Preparing for potential flooding
- Private plowers celebrating winter weather
- Providence Health Care restricting visitors to combat flu season
- Statuses updated for injured Bonner deputies, suspected shooter
- Spokane Public Schools explains decision to hold class Wednesday
- Spokane crews working to fight potential floods