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First Bay area fallen hero honored since Osama death | News

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First Bay area fallen hero honored since Osama death
News, People
First Bay area fallen hero honored since Osama death

Tampa, FL -- You can find Walter Kerbis in the same spot along Bayshore Boulevard just about every time a fallen military member returns to Tampa Bay.

"I'm here to tell them thanks," Kerbis said.

He describes seeing the body escorted from MacDill Air Force as always an emotional experience.

But on Wednesday, as the body Plant City Marine Lance Corporal Ronald Freeman was led toward downtown Tampa, Kerbis says it was even more moving than normal.

"To me, it might be a little light at the end of the tunnel," he described.

Freeman, killed in Afghanistan, is the first to be escorted through the Bay area since the killing of Osama bin Laden over the weekend.

"It's a continuing struggle for our military, but it means something different this time," said veteran Bruce Hockensmith.

Cyd Deathe's son is a Marine, who served two tours in Iraq.

Deathe says she's talked to her son about how bin Laden's death is vindication for all who have served in the war on terror.

"He felt some comfort in the fact that they had at least got him and the job had been finished, and that was immense for all of us," Deathe said.

She hopes the killing of bin Laden offers the families of fallen heroes comfort that their loved ones did not die in vain.

"This is just the mastermind of such horribleness, such an evil man, and this was just the big win," Deathe said.

The group gathered on Bayshore Wednesday afternoon is hopeful bin Laden's death may be a sign they won't need to be holding American flags and paying their respects many more times.

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