DESLOGE, MO- (KFVS) - A Heartland Marine killed on the battlefield comes home to a hero's welcome.
On Tuesday afternoon 29-year-old Corporal Michael Bailey of Leadwood, Missouri came home for the final time.
Corporal Bailey died on the battlefield in Afghanistan on June 16 while engaged in combat operations.
He served eight years in the U.S. Navy prior to serving the past year in the U.S. Marine Corps.
HIs fellow firefighters from the Leadwood Fire District along with the St. Francois County Sheriff's office escorted Bailey's casket from the Saint Louis' Lambert Field Airport to the Boyer Funeral Home.
"Anytime we have a Marine killed in action or wounded in action we receive them back into the Saint Louis area," U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel T. Shane Tomko said. "We take care of the family and anything and everything to help out the family. And to take care of one of our own."
The Marines weren't the only ones who stood proud to pay tribute to Corporal Bailey's service and sacrifice.
"He should be given the respect and honor he so deserves," said Commander Robert Snow V.F.W. Post 2426. "We want to welcome him home. And give him the proper burial he deserves."
With his fellow Marines surrounding him, they marched into the Boyer Funeral Home to lay their fallen comrade to rest.
"We are a brotherhood, it's a shared bond. We stand beside one another on the battlefield and in death," said Lt. Colonel Tomko.
Visitation services for Corporal Michael bailey will be on Thursday from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the West County High School in Leadwood, Missouri. His funeral services will be held on Friday morning at 11 a.m. there at the West County High School. The service will be performed by Rev. Jessie Barton with the Franklin Nazarene Church.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered that the U.S. and Missouri flags on all state buildings in St. Francois County be flown at half-staff in honor of Corporal Michael C. Bailey who died on June 16 while serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Gov. Nixon has ordered that the U.S. and Missouri flags at state buildings in all 114 counties and the City of St. Louis be flown at half-staff for one full day on June 25, the day funeral services for Corporal Bailey will take place
Bailey's awards and honors include:
- Purple Heart
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
- Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Navy "E" Ribbon
- National Defense Service Medal
- Navy Expeditionary Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Corporal Bailey was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.
Memorials can be made to the Leadwood Fire Protection District.