By TRISHA SCHULTZ
PENDER — Flags lined the street in front of St. Mark's Lutheran Church here.
Patriotic music rang out among the crowd filing into the church sanctuary.
It was a fitting tribute to 20-year-old Sgt. Joshua Ford of Pender, who gave his life fighting for his country.
Ford died July 31 while serving in Iraq when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was riding in.
He was laid to rest here Thursday morning. Ford was the first casualty from the Nebraska National Guard’s 189th Transportation Co., based in Wayne and Norfolk. They deployed last October for Iraq.
About 100 members of the Patriot Guard Riders were here for the funeral. They rode into town, American flags billowing on the back of their motorcycles.