Fallen soldier returns home to a hero's welcome - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fallen soldier returns home to a hero's welcome

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division saluted the body of a fallen comrade.

A vehicle accident in Iraq claimed the life of Sgt. Lakeshia Bailey, while she was serving her second tour of duty as a motor transport operator. 

Spc. Mairama Awudu was stationed with Sgt. Bailey and remembered her this way, "She is really kind hearted and even when it comes to doing missions she is really motivational and you will notice that she is there."

Sgt. Bailey's Squad Leader said it still hasn't sunk in that Bailey won't be coming back.  "I keep expecting her to come up, come around. I was here when she left, and I knew I'd be here when she got back, but not like this," said Sgt Daniel Wilson.

Wilson says the unit is finding comfort by sharing memories with the soldiers still in Iraq.

Officers sent back a message of condolences to the 3rd ID.  Col. Peter L. Jones said from Iraq, "We recently had a service out here. We honored their lives in service to our country and the country of Iraq.  In coming days they and their families will remain in our thoughts and prayers."

Sgt Bailey will be remembered as a great driver for those that rode with her and a soldier that encompassed the Army spirit.

"Everybody loved her, yeah, everybody loved her.  They did, she was really funny," remembered Awudu.

Wilson said, "she's going to be missed, forever. She was the kind of person where you could meet people all day and you're never going to find another Bailey," said Wilson.

Lakeshia Bailey was posthumously promoted to sergeant.  She was a Columbus native and graduated from Spencer High School in 2004.

Her funeral is Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Follow Me Chapel on Fort Benning.

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