Funeral held for Fort Sill soldier killed in Iraq

FORT SILL--Family, friends and fellow soldiers remembered SFC Greg Sutton during his funeral service Friday at Fort Sill's Frontier Chapel.

A crowd of about 100 people gathered outside, despite threatening skies, as an honor guard brought his casket into the chapel for the funeral service officiated by Major Ken Hurst.  No spoken eulogy was given, but a slide show of pictures accompanied by music helped tell SFC Sutton's story.

"He was a family man, he was dedicated to his family," said Sutton's close friend Gabby Galloway, who also served as a spokesman for the Sutton family.  "He loved his family dearly.  He loved his service.  He loved his bowling community and you could tell everybody loves him."

SFC Sutton was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on June 6th.  He volunteered for this second tour to help out a fellow soldier who wanted to retire, but was denied retirement because of the deployment.  SFC Sutton volunteered to go in his place telling friends and family that it was "a calling."

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders stood sentry outside of Frontier Chapel, but no problems or protests erupted.

"We have come today to show this man the respect that he deserves," said Patriot Guard Rider Shooter Drayer.  "These guys are giving everything for us, so we need to show them that we support them."

Local media was kept outside of the chapel, but a private video camera documented the service.  Galloway said the tape will someday prove a valuable possession to Sutton's two children ages 18 months and 3 years.

"The hardest part is going to be for the children," Galloway said.  "That's why we had the video made, so maybe one day we can explain it to them and show them the pictures of how much their father really loved and cared for them."

Following today's service, SFC Sutton's body was returned to Ritter-Gray Funeral Home in Lawton.  On Monday Sutton and his family will make his final voyage to Arlington, Virginia where SFC Sutton will be buried on Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

SFC Greg Lamonte Sutton leaves behind his wife Joane, and two children Cailee and Greg II.