Hero's Welcome for Marine Killed in Iraq
His body came home to Missouri on Wednesday night, when he received a hero's welcome.
"He always had a smile on his face," recalled Terry Howerton, school librarian. "It was like a ray of sunshine."
Police cars and fire trucks lit up Route C Wednesday night as they passed Settle's family, friends and supporters, who lined the road for three miles. Russellville welcomed back its hometown son by waving flags and sharing stories about him.
Drama teacher Craig Englebrecht remembered his former student.
"When he did the spring play, he was just tremendous," said Engelbrecht. "It was something he really liked. I mean, he did the sound equipment, he did the lighting, he just did everything."
At least 2,400 American service men and women have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the past three years, with another 20,000 wounded.
Darin Settle's funeral starts at noon this Saturday in Cole County R-5 High School in Eugene where he graduated in 2001.