Arm-in-arm with a military escort, Joanne Sutton led the procession of mourners to the graveside service for her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Greg Sutton, who was killed June 6 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
Mrs. Sutton, 3-year-old daughter Cailee, and 2-year-old son Greg Jr., were among family and friends gathered Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery for Sgt. Sutton's burial.
For Greg Lamonte Sutton, 38, of Spring Lake, N.C., the Army was a way of life. His father, Sgt. 1st Class Claude Sutton, served in the Army for more than 20 years, mostly with the 82nd Airborne Division. Greg Sutton followed his father into the Army but not into the 82nd Airborne.
"He didn't want to jump out of airplanes," his sister Trivilla told the Raleigh News & Observer.
But he loved everything else about the Army, especially its discipline and authority.
"I would still listen to him even as old as I am," his 37-year-old sister Evette told the Greenville Daily Reflector.
Sutton had been in the Army for 15 years and in Iraq for five months when the roadside bomb tore through his truck, killing him instantly. (Roadside bombs now account for roughly 80 percent of U.S. deaths in Iraq.)
For Sutton's sister Evette, the hardest part was not being able to see his face again. The Army said his funeral had to be closed casket.
"I wanted to see his face," she told the Daily Reflector, "kiss his face one last time."
Editor's note: A Vietnam veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service, John is also a 28-year veteran of NBC News.
As we recognize those servicemen and -women buried at Arlington National Cemetery, we want to offer you the chance to share the stories of other fallen military personnel either in personal remembrance and reflection or through public funeral or memorial announcements. All verifiable submissions for servicemen and -women who died in combat are welcome, as are photos of the deceased. Click here to submit yours.