Body of St. George soldier killed in Syria returns home

Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) — The body of a Southern Utah soldier who died while on a patrol mission in the Middle East returned home Thursday afternoon.

Thousands within the community of St. George gathered together along Main Street as a show of support, bringing their own signs, flags, and ribbons to honor the life of Sgt. Bryan “Cooper” Mount.

“You always worry when it’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and 99 degrees how many people will come out and how long they’ll wait. They came out in droves,” Mayor Jon Pike said. “I can’t tell you what that means to this family. It just helps even a little bit to know how many people appreciate what he gave for his country. He gave everything.”

Mount, 25, was an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper killed in a “vehicle rollover accident July 21 while conducting reconnaissance operations” in eastern Syria, according to the Department of Defense. The accident is under investigation, but it was “not due to enemy contact.”

A military airplane carrying his body arrived at the St. George Regional Airport at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday. A police escort and the Patriot Guard Riders formed a procession to accompany Mount’s hearse from the airport to Metcalf Mortuary.

Mount’s family called him a “gentle soul, nonjudgmental, accepting, and kind,” according to the family’s GoFundMe page.

“He ran cross country and was on the student council at Parowan High School. Cooper dreamed of having his own barber shop one day following his military service,” his aunt Summer Robertson wrote.

Katie Karalis
Katie worked as a multimedia journalist in Reno, Nevada for KRNV News 4 and in Quincy, Illinois for WGEM-TV before making the move to Utah. Katie graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she anchored and reported for the Emmy-award-winning Northwestern News Network.

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