As the hearse carrying the body of sergeant Sean Cooley arrived at the small family cemetery in Benndale, hundreds of people gathered to watch.
"When we have to put one to rest here at home, we see a tremendous outpour of children, older people, all people who just casually knew him but have so much respect and they realize they are American heroes,"Adjutant General of Mississippi Major Harold Cross says.
"He gave his all. That's what they say, you need to give your all for your country," Cooley's cousin Kerry O'Neal says.
"He was a model soldier and a tremendous inspirational person to other people," Cross says.
Mississippi's Adjutant General says the price soldiers like Sergeant Cooley pay for our country's freedom should never be taken for granted.
"When you feel like it's a little to inconvenient to go vote, get up and go vote. That's a precious freedom that Sean died for,"Cross says.
And a freedom many other soldiers are still fighting for today.
" Pray for our troops, never forget them. When they're over there, write them, call them if you can, and just pray for them," O'Neal says.
"He is such an inspiration to this country, and this country should never forget the name Master Sergeant Sean Michael Cooley," Cross says.