South Georgia hero laid to rest - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia hero laid to rest

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) – A South Georgia hero was laid to rest Wednesday. 23-year old Sr. Airman Michael Buras of Fitzgerald was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan two weeks ago.

Today thousands of people lined the streets and roads in Ben Hill County, to pay tribute to him.

In Ben Hill County you see signs, flags and ribbons honoring the Airman just about everywhere you look. But seeing just how many people from near and far showed up today, to pay their respects, was not only touching but emotional and I believe because of that Buras got the recognition an American hero deserves.

While not everyone at his funeral knew Michael Buras, they all know he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. "Michael is a real go-getter and I can imagine why he did what he did,"said family friend Allen Herrin.

"I was born and raised here and one of our neighbors died for our freedom it's just an emotional thing," said Thomas Mayo, who drove from Byron Georgia.

Community members, Veterans, law officers and even strangers lined the streets today as more than 100 vehicles escorted the Airman's body to Arbor Baptist Church in Fitzgerald. "I've been so impressed by the people of Ben Hill county and other counties who have shown up to support Michael," said Herrin.

"I rode about four hours to be here, but I would ride even further for someone who died for my family," said Jeff Goddiel, Captain of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Some placed their hands over their heart, others held flags; some saluted the American hero's body.

"What you see here today is pretty much the faces of America. These are the ones who get it, these are the ones who know and that's why they are here to pay their respects and say thank you," said Goddiel.

And its obvious the entire community of Ben Hill county, and the others who showed up, understand Michael's sacrifice "We are proud of your son and we are deeply sorry for your loss," said Mayo.

We did not go inside the funeral, but friends describe the ceremony as patriotic, as an American flag waved on the big screen, the entire time. "Hopefully us being here will maybe alleviate some of their pain and let the family know they are not alone," said Goddiel.

A Sergeant in the Air force also explained how Michael Buras saved his life. "He threw himself in front of a bomb to save this guy and he did it again and it cost him his life," said Herrin.

Michael Buras will be greatly missed and we appreciate all he's done for us.

Next time you see someone in the Military, at the very least tell them thank you, because everyday women and men like Buras put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms as Americans.

Airman Buras was buried with full military honors at Andersonville National Cemetery this afternoon.

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