By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- An Oklahoma soldier who died in Iraq was laid to rest on Monday. Family and friends gathered to remember the service and sacrifice of 23-year-old Corporal Stephen Thompson.
American flags paved the way in front of the Mason Chapel at Asbury United Methodist Church for one of the country's finest.
"Stephen was an incredible kid. And brave!" said family friend Linda Shutts. "Full of life, full of vigor, constantly going, hyper this, hyper that. But, he had a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off his back."
Corporal Thompson was a 2004 graduate of Memorial High School. He joined the military three years ago. He said he wanted to make something of himself, to find himself.
"But, Stephen kept his dream alive and he served his country with honor," said Linda Shutts.
Thompson was killed on Valentine's Day in Baghdad after being shot while riding in an armored vehicle. At the funeral service, Thompson was described as a wonderful son who loved to hunt and to fish with his father. Family friend Linda Shutts says the family is proud of their son.
"Dad's strong. Phil's always been strong. I know he hurts. His mama hurts," said Linda Shutts. "Stephen will be missed by so many people. Look how many people were here. He touched so many lives. Absolutely so proud of him."
The burial service was held at Floral Haven Cemetery. As friends, family, and soldiers said goodbye to a hero.
"Such a respectful young man full of life, proud to serve his country. He was a good man," said family friend Linda Shutts.
Thompson had been in Iraq for more than 11 months and was supposed to come home in March. He had just recently been promoted to the rank of Corporal last October.
He was said to be an instant friend and confidant for everyone.