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Mourners Pay Their Respects to Fallen Apex Soldier

Posted April 24, 2008

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— More than 100 mourners lined the entrance of the Apex Funeral Home Thursday to honor a fallen soldier whose body was brought back to the Triangle.

A flag-draped coffin, escorted by police, carried the body of Lance Eakes, 25, from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

A motorcycle convoy of Patriot Guard Riders of North Carolina and the Rolling Thunder followed behind, flags waving high in the air.

“(We came) to provide an honor escort for Sgt. Eakes and his family, to pay our respects and to thank them for the gift they’ve given this nation of giving up their son,” Patriot Guard Rider Michael Haluski said.

Eakes, a 2001 graduate of Apex High School, died April 18 in an explosion in Baghdad. Earlier this week, Eakes was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant.

He decided to join the military after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, his family said. He wanted to serve his country, no matter the cost.

“He was scared over there," family friend Sue Smith said. "He told his momma and daddy he was scared, but he knew he was doing what he had to do,”.

Friends described Eakes as an outgoing, mischevious joker, who loved his family, had a big heart and believed in his faith.

His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at the Olive Chapel Cemetery in Apex.


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  • kirbydc1 Apr 24, 2008

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young man, his family and his friends.

  • luckyladybug238 Apr 24, 2008

    May God bless this man's family. Thank you to the family for your sacrifice and your loved one's sacrifice for our freedom!! Lance served alongside my own family members and was a good friend to my cousin while in Baghdad and Camp Bucca. Thanks to him for his service to our country.

  • Silver loves Rebel Red puppies Apr 24, 2008

    If I hadn't had to work this morning, I would've been there when this brave young man came home. My prayers are with his family.

  • fishnett5977 Apr 24, 2008

    Heard a call on WQDR this morning wanting people to go out and stand with flags that were being provided for this fallen soldiers ride from the airport to the funeral home. I just wish that I had been off work to go. God Bless this family, friends and America! I was there this morning in thought and prayer!! And the prayers will continue....

  • malave27896 Apr 24, 2008

    I just want to give my thanks to this brave man ...and thanks to his family for all that you have done. God Bless you all

  • discowhale Apr 24, 2008

    My prayers go out to this brave man's family. Both my son's have been over there and I thank God they came home with nary a scratch. We are a family with a strong military tradition. So we know all to well that it is truly said that, All Gave Some, Some Gave All. It is this kind of spirit that makes our country great.

    God Bless you Sgt. Eakes, may you rest in God's warm embrace.

  • ncvaluer Apr 24, 2008

    Too many families are coping with the loss of loved one. My daughter is coping with the death of her husband. Please visit "Gold Star Families" and make a donation to help them deal with the difficulties. Please visit youtube and enter "18 Video Tapes". My granddaughter is the first frame. All of the young men on this video are fallen heros. Thank you Lance, you may now rest, hang up your gun and your boots, your job is complete.

  • tgw Apr 24, 2008

    Thank you young man! Thank you brave family! Thank you Apex!
    You are the real face of The United States of America. May God's peace be with all of you in this time of sorrow and grief. We will do all we can here in the Triangle Area to support you.

  • mcbroomralent Apr 24, 2008

    We are proud of you, Lance. You will be missed but never forgotten.Thankyou for all you have done to serve our country. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • ncvaluer Apr 24, 2008

    God Bless our military!! My son in law was killed in Iraq in December of 2006. Many thanks to the Patriot Guard Riders for their compassion. I'll have to say, I have never been more impressed with an organization. My son in law was escorted by about 100 PGR's on motorcycles proudly waiving American flags and made my daughter and granddaughter feel a sense of comfort in an awful time of their lives. My heart goes out to the family. My wish is that no one will ever have to have the Chaplin come to their door.