Flags waved and tears flowed as people lined the streets of Loganville Tuesday to show respect for the family of fallen hero Maj. Walter David Gray. The airman, killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 8, 2012, will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 24. He had a formal funeral in Colorado last week and his family traveled to Loganville Tuesday for a memorial service at Loganville First Baptist Church. Gray, 38, grew up in Loganville, graduating from Loganville High School in 1992.
Gray's family was escorted through town by members of the and Patriot Guard and American Legion Riders to the Memorial Service site off Tom Brewer Road. This is not the first time Loganville has offered an outpouring of support for it's military families. In August 2005, residents lined the streets from Snellville, through Loganville, to the Youth burial site of 23-year-old Army Sgt. Mike Stokely. Most recently, in December the community turned out to greet returning wounded warrior Sgt. Mark Allen. In the crowd Tuesday, Allen's wife, Shannon, stood with the community to show her support for Gray's family.
An active duty member, who asked not to be named, joined the crowds lining Highway 78. He did it, he said, to show respect.
"That could be me coming down this street," he said. "It could be any of us."
Grays leaves behind a wife, Heather, and three children. The LHS Class of 1992 is in the process of setting up three trust funds, one for each of Gray's three children.