Hundreds of flags will line the road in honor of Army Spc. Erica Alecksen of Eatonton when her body arrives back home Wednesday for burial.
The funeral service for Alecksen is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Eatonton.
Alecksen, 21, and five other soldiers were killed July 8 when a roadside bomb hit their tank in the Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan. She was a member of the 978th Military Police Brigade, stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Alecksens body is scheduled for return to the airport in Greensboro about 11:40 Wednesday morning, said Alecksens grandmother, Maurine Huggins. There, a dignified transfer will move her casket to a hearse and on to the church in Eatonton along Georgia highways 44 and 16.
Those who want to pay their respects may do so at the church, located at 103 W. Magnolia St. in Eatonton, from 2-6 p.m.
Alecksens aunt, Lydia Ivanditti, said about 2,600 flags will line parts of the route from the airport to Eatonton. Family members will be part of a motorcade from the airport.
Family members originally had hoped to hold Alecksens funeral this past Saturday, and several family members were in town during the weekend anticipating the service. But the Department of Defense did not release Alecksens body in time.
The days since Alecksens death have been hard for the family, Ivanditti said, but God gives you a certain measure of protection.
We have absolutely been uplifted by the community, family and friends since Alecksens death, she said. Everyone has been wonderful.
She added, The pride and admiration for what she did outweighs everything. We have fond memories of her, and family members want to tell Ericas stories to let others know about her.
The funeral, with full military honors, will feature a 21-gun salute. Tributes for Alecksen will come from retired Army Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver as well as family members and friends, including a former teacher.
Two of Alecksens cousins will play the guitar as they offer renditions of two of Alecksens favorite songs by the rock band Journey: Dont Stop Believin and Faithfully.