MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) – All along the streets of Mansfield, people stopped what they were doing Friday morning and stood in silence. “To pay our respects to the fallen soldier from Venus,” said Brittany Sutton, a member of the Junior ROTC at Legacy High School.
Her brother was a Marine. She wants to be one too. “So, it’s very near and dear to our hearts,” she said. She’s only 17 years old. But that fallen soldier she saluted? He wasn’t much older.
20-year-old Army specialist Jesse Dietrich died 2 weeks ago in Afghanistan when his unit came under enemy fire.
Now, two days before the tenth anniversary of 9-11, his death is a reminder – the war on terror isn’t over.
Some who lined the street could hardly remember 10 years ago. “I didn’t know what to think at the time ’cause I was in first grade,” said 17 year old Eric Traylor.
24-year-old Albert Tarectecan can never forget. “I actually was from New York. My mom was actually in the first tower. She got out safely. But that day probably changed my life forever because I didn’t know if my mom was alive or not. Until I got a phone call,” he said. “Probably 2-3 hours. Longest 2-3 hours of my life.”
“She was already in the lobby area. She heard the bang. And something told her to get out,” he said.
Taking time out of his work day to honor a fallen soldier is, for him, time well spent. “They set their lives on the line every day just so we can go to work,” he said.
Patriot Guard Riders escorted Dietrich’s body to a ranch in Gustine, Texas, where he was raised and where he had wanted to be buried.