By Chris Wright, The News On 6
OWASSO, OK -- Hundreds of people turned out Monday evening to honor and celebrate the life of Army specialist and Owasso native Andrew Looney.
Spc. Looney, 22, was one of two soldiers killed last Monday after an insurgent detonated a suicide vest at a traffic control point.
Hours before the service began, hundreds of people lined the streets outside Owasso High School, waving American flags.
"It's all about showing the support of the community for our fallen soldiers, especially one that lives here in Owasso, and was raised here," Liz Pruitt said.
Looney was described as a quiet, loyal man with a deep love for family and friends. When news of his death reached the Owasso community, the response was immediate. A Facebook group was formed, friends told friends and people began to pour in.
"Everybody in Owasso appreciates what he's done," one man said. "And we all want to be out here as much as we can."
Looney joined the Army right after he graduated Owasso High School, and he served in Iraq as well. He suffered a dramatic brain injury and lost half of his foot during a tour there in 2007. Still, he remained in the service and went to Afghanistan.
Looney's mother says she's proud of her son, but his death will be difficult to deal with.
"I'll miss the fact that he can't say another word to us and his brother and sister," said Martha Looney, Andrew's mother. "They were all very close. I'll miss him not being able to be married and have children."
Looney will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
The idea to line the streets was prompted by news that members of the Westboro Baptist Church planned to protest the funeral. Some members did show and protest a few blocks away.