Fallen Chelsea Soldier Returns To Oklahoma

Saturday, August 13th 2011, 12:31 pm
By: News On 6


CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- As members of the Patriot Guard Riders play Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" on their Harley-Davidson stereo speakers, the body of Sergeant Anthony Peterson is brought to Claremore Saturday morning.

The Chelsea native lost his life August 4, 2011, when he was struck by small arms fire while on patrol in Afghanistan. He was the fourth Oklahoma servicemen to be killed in the Paktia Province in one week.

8/5/2011 Related Story: Deadliest Week For Oklahoma Soldiers In Afghanistan

"We're here to watch the plane come in and salute the guy that died," said 11-year-old Tyler Busby, Military Supporter.

It's Tyler's dream to be in the military. Soldiers like Sgt. Anthony Peterson are his heroes.

"Well, first of all, he was pretty brave to go over there and fight for his country," Tyler said.

The last post on his Facebook page, July 31st: "You probably heard the news. Don't worry about me though, I'm fine."

Four days later, Sgt. Peterson was killed in Afghanistan -- leaving behind a five-year-old son. His body was flown across the world for the long journey to Oklahoma.  Members of the Patriot Guard and other groups guide the way home.

"He's a baby. It's heartbreaking. I talked to his mother today - a rare treat. She looked so young and everything. It's heartbreaking," said Curtis Lyons, with the American Veterans Motorcycle Club.

In one week -- soldiers from Broken Arrow, Edmond, Sapulpa and now Chelsea lost their lives. The deadliest week for the Oklahoma Guard since the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- tragedies that make us all pause to remember.

"You see the good in America," Lyons said. "You see everybody alongside the road, pulled over, holding flags, saluting. I see tears through my eyes."

Tyler's mom sees a future for her son -- a life of service and sacrifice.

"If he wants to join when he gets older, which is his plan, then I want to support him. But I want him to go into it with his eyes open, knowing that sometimes it costs everything," said Tyler's mom Candace Busby.

Sgt. Peterson will be laid to rest Tuesday morning in Claremore.