Community honors family of fallen Keller soldier on day of proce - Dallas News |

Community honors family of fallen Keller soldier on day of procession

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The body of a Keller Special Forces soldier killed in action in Afghanistan returned to North Texas on Tuesday.

A procession was held for Army Staff Sergeant Alex Viola, 29, in the morning. His body arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and was escorted by police and the Patriot Guard to Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home in Colleyville.

The ride home from picking up his son's body was tough for Alex's father, Frank, but the last quarter of a mile into his Keller neighborhood brought tears of joy flowing down the cheeks of his family.

Lining the streets that lead to their home were more than three dozen American flags.

"I think it's just showing their respect and showing their admiration for what Alex has done," said Frank. "Words can't express how we feel about our neighbors, our community, the family…everybody has just been so, so good."

A handful of people in the neighborhood sent out emails and went door-to-door with the idea of welcoming the family home with the stars and stripes.

"We're just grateful that fine young man served his country in combat," said neighbor Richard Herold, a retired Marine.

Viola died on Nov. 17th from an IED while on patrol in the Kandahar Province.

Visitation is scheduled for Friday and his funeral is Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller.

Viola, who is survived by his parents and sister, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, FL. He was on his first military deployment.

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