Funeral set Tuesday for Stafford Marine
UPDATE FROM STAFFORD SHERIFF’S OFFICE ON TWITTER: Escort for SSGT David Stewart is scheduled to arrive at the Route 3/Stafford County Line @ 3:00 p.m. Please note the later arrival time.
UPDATE FROM VDOT: The escort is expected to pass from Maryland into Virginia at approximately 2 p.m. on southbound Route 301 at the Governor Harry Nice Bridge and travel west on Route 3. The escort will then travel north along Cool Spring Road in Stafford County, turning left onto Route 218 to Route 1 northbound to Covenant Funeral Home on Courthouse Road.
The body of Marine Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart will be accompanied from Dover Air Force Base to Stafford by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and a procession of motorcyclists made up of current and former police, fire and rescue workers, and military service members today.
His family will receive his body at the Covenant Funeral Service on Courthouse Road.
Stewart, 34, of Stafford, died Friday as a result of a hostile incident while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The funeral for Stewart will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Marine Corps Base Quantico chapel. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. in Quantico National Cemetery.
Stewart had joined the Marine Corps as a reservist in 2000, but after being activated in 2004 for Operation Iraqi Freedom he remained on active duty.
He deployed three times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.
Survivors include his wife, Kristine Stewart, and two children, MacKenzie and Marshall; his father, retired Marine Lt. Col. Nelson H. Stewart, and brother Nelson E. Stewart.
The law enforcement escorts and motorcyclists will make the nearly 300 mile round trip to Dover Air Force Base and back to honor Stewart.
The procession will leave Dover for the return trip around noon today. It will return to Stafford around 2:45 p.m. and end the journey at the funeral home.
The Sheriff’s Office has coordinated with Virginia, Maryland and Delaware police and transportation departments to ensure a safe ride.
Bryant Halstead, the national president of the Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club, said the members want to “line the streets and give [Stewart] the right sendoff.”
Upon returning to the Stafford area, the procession will drive along State Route 3 to Cool Spring Road, then to Butler Road to join U.S. 1, which will finally lead them to the funeral home on Courthouse Road.
Anyone who wishes to honor Stewart is encouraged to stand along the route to show their respect.
The Sheriff’s Office and the motorcycle club, which helped initiate the ride, ask that everyone participating commit to the full journey for safety reasons.
Those who cannot make the entire drive are invited to take photos or videos of the procession along the route and send them to letters firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to these photos, memories of Stewart and other messages sent to this email address will be compiled into a memory book for his 2-year-old daughter, MacKenzie, and 14-month-old son Marshall.
Katie Shepherd 540/374-5417