OKTIBBEHA, MS, USA U.S. Army CPL BAGHDAD, IRAQ 03/10/2008
Hundreds of residents, many holding up American flags, gathered along Main Street in this college town Wednesday, giving a final salute to a local soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.
The funeral for Army Corporal Robert Taylor McDavid III fell on the same day as the fifth anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq.
Armando De La Cruz of Starkville, watching as the funeral procession slowly passed on the way to Oddfellows Cemetery, said his family had lived near Robert and Jean Alice McDavid and he had seen their son grow up.
“He was a good kid. Oh, you know, a normal kid,” De La Cruz told The Commercial Dispatch.
The funeral was held at First Presbyterian Church.
McDavid, 29, and four other soldiers died in the March 10 attack that left three other soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter injured. The bomber struck as soldiers chatted with shop owners while on patrol in central Baghdad. It was the deadliest attack on American forces in the capital in more than eight months.
“He was a true American hero,” Tiffany McDavid said of her husband as a stiff breeze whipped across the cemetery. “And I’ve known him since I was 10 years old.”
Robert McDavid attended Starkville Academy and Starkville High School. He received an associate’s degree in accounting from North Mississippi Community College and later attended Mississippi State University, where he was a member of the band.
He joined the Army in 2005 and deployed to Iraq in May 2007. Robert McDavid said his son was a tank operator with the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment out of Fort Stewart, Ga.
Survivors include his wife, Tiffany Leigh McDavid; his parents, Robert and Jean Alice McDavid; and a sister, Leslie McDavid.