East Texans Say Goodbye To Soldier Killed In Iraq

Sgt. Steven White was a man who loved his children, his wife, and his country. Those at today's funeral near Canton say that's what made him special.

Sgt. White was killed Aug. 13 ago near Tikrit, north of Baghdad. His vehicle struck a land mine.

"He believed in the uniform. He believed in what he was doing," says father-in-law Stanley Dupree.

Living his life in service to his country, and devotion to his family, Army Sgt. White was 29 years old. He had a wife, and four adoring children. And he had a host of friends and family.

"[He was a] good son-in-law. He liked to go fishing when he got a chance," Dupree adds.

But when the chance for reinlistment came about, he wasn't going to leave the uniform. No matter where he was going to be deployed. He felt it probably would be Iraq.

"He knew there was a pretty good chance he might go, but he still took the opportunity to stay where he was," he says.

As a country says goodbye, friends say Laniece, Steven's widow, remains strong.

"Miss Laneice has a strong faith in the Lord, and that's what's getting her through is her faith," says Rev. Brian Easley of the New Beginnings Church in Edgewood.

Dupree adds: "[Laneice's] boys are like me -- sometimes you can talk and sometimes you can't."

And as they grow -- as life carries on -- the memory of the sacrifice will stay with everyone. The knowledge that this soldier always was serving his country, and that freedom is never free.

"In and out of green, he was a hero," Dupree says.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.