MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - On Monday a local Army private was laid to rest.
Twenty-year-old Bradley Powell was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Dec. 8 in Fort Bragg, N.C., but before his burial, the Army gave him one last honor: a posthumous promotion.
On a gloomy Monday morning, the Patriot Guard Riders solemnly assembled in front of Life Church in Mobile.
Inside was the funeral for Army Pvt. Bradley Powell.
John Sibley with the Patriot Guard Riders said, "We do this to honor the soldiers, because they are the ones who protect and defended our freedoms and it's just our way of being able to show respect to them."
Powell is a 2011 graduate of Baker High School. He enrolled at South Alabama and then surprised his parents by joining the Army.
He had only been at Fort Bragg a few days when he died in a hit-and-run.
Baker High School principal Clem Richardson said, "Bradley was the type of young man that you would want your son to grow up and how you'd want him to turn out to be."
Shortly before his funeral, the Army post-humously promoted Powell to Private, First class.
"He's still a hero because he took the oath of enlistment, and he went and served," said Sibley.
Members of Powell's battalion also came down from North Carolina to attend the funeral.
And as the procession made its way to Mobile Memorial Gardens, it marked the final goodbye to a young man who inspired so many despite being gone far too soon.
Fort Bragg officials say a person of interest has been identified in the hit-and-run investigation.
Fort Bragg spokesman Benjamin Abel says charges have not been filed.
Abel said the suspect is a civilian, and because of the unique jurisdictional issues involved in this case, any prosecutions would fall to the U.S. Attorney's office and military lawyers will assist them.
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