East Texas Community Says Goodbye To Soldier

An East Texas community says goodbye to a man who risked his life for our country.   Sergeant Casey Jones, 22 of Troup came home Friday morning from Iraq. Tragically, a couple days later, a car accident took his life.   Casey's family asked us to be at his burial today to honor him. They told us East Texas did not just lose a good man; the entire country lost a great soldier.

"Casey was a great person," said Amanda Rozell, Casey's friend.  "A great Dad. I know if I ever needed him, 3 o'clock in the morning, he would be there for me." Casey grew up in Troup. His family and friends say he joined the military after 9-11.

"To him it was about fighting for his country, his family, and his friends," said Rozell. "He knew the importance of the military, and that's why he was there." Casey was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was only going to be home for two weeks.

"He was a good soldier," said James Johnson, Casey's Father In Law. "Two tours and then come home and something like this happens. It's tragic."   This afternoon, with full military honors, his family and friends said goodbye to the man they said made them smile.

"Always laughing and always having a good time," said Rozell. "He was such an outgoing guy. You could be in a horrible mood and he would make you smile."   The U.S. Military honored Casey's wife, 14-month-old son, mother and father with the American Flag today.

"Sergeant Casey Jones is a great American and a great representative of all the young men and women who serve in the army today," said General Christopher Tucker, Commanding General of Operational Task Commandment at Fort Hood.

"He was a good man," said Johnson.  "A good son in law. We'll miss him a lot."   Also, at the funeral today were more than 20 members of the Patriot Guard Riders. It's a group that travels the country on motorcycles to honor fallen soliders.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com