FORT DRUM As a light wind blew across Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, all that could be heard were cries of grief from the family of Sgt. Daniel A. Rodriguez as his casket was lowered from a charter plane.
Daniel ... Danny ... please, Danny! screamed an elderly woman in a wheelchair as several relatives tried to console her.
With several thousand soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division and hundreds of motorcyclists from the Patriot Riders paying their respects, about 15 members of Sgt. Rodriguezs family gathered for the fallen soldiers final return home in a somber ceremony Sunday evening.
Sgt. Rodriguez, 28, of Baltimore, was killed on July 18 in Ghazni City, Afghanistan, when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. The attack also killed one other soldier and injured at least one more.
Sgt. Rodriguez was a heavy vehicle driver with the 110th Transportation Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade.
Meeting the Rodriguez family Sunday were post leaders, including Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the divisions commander. An Army chaplain could be seen praying with the family as Sgt. Rodriguezs flag-draped casket was carried from the plane to a waiting hearse.
The family was then taken by police escort to Lundy Funeral Home in Carthage as soldiers standing at attention stretched for more than a mile.
Also joining the ceremonial procession were the Patriot Riders on their motorcycles, along with state police, Jefferson County sheriffs personnel and Carthage police and firefighters.
A public procession for Sgt. Rodriguez will take place in Carthage on Tuesday, starting between 2 and 2:30 p.m. His hearse will travel from the funeral home, 500 State St., into West Carthage, turning right on North Broad Street, left on Route 126 and continuing to Watertown, where Sgt. Rodriguez will be buried in Brookside Cemetery.