Community honors fallen Baytown soldier

BAYTOWN - Hundreds of people lined the street in Baytown to honor a fallen soldier.

Family and friends gathered Friday to remember the 26-year-old soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Army Specialist Keith Grace, Jr., of Baytown, was killed, along with two other soldiers, after their unit was attacked on August 11.

A funeral service was held Friday morning at the First Baptist Church in Baytown.

Hundreds of those who never new him personally, but understood his sacrifice, stood in the summer sun to watch Grace's funeral procession drive by.

Specialist Grace joined the Army in January of 2012. His first tour took him to Afghanistan where military officials say he and two other soldiers died August 11 when enemy forces attacked their unit. Michelle Williams knows the challenges of military families.

"It's important to show our support," Williams said. "My husband was in the military. My dad was in the military."

So she didn't want to miss the chance to say thank you for Specialist Grace's service.

"That could be my son. That could be my husband," said Williams. "And the sacrifice that he did for us, can't explain it."

On social media, many wrote about fears that protestors would picket the funeral. In response, Baytown police closely watched the crowd and allowed only flags; no posters.

From the church to the cemetery, all remained calm -- a solemn tribute to Specialist Grace.

Grace was buried at the Houston National VA Cemetery.

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