EDMOND, Oklahoma -- More than a thousand Oklahomans showed up with American flags, signs and pictures to support the family of 2nd Lt. Jeret Wayne Ewy. This was his third tour in Afghanistan. He was killed by a roadside bomb July 29.
Friends remember the 33-year old as a jokester, a snake lover, a devoted husband and father. The line outside of Henderson Hills Baptist church stretched for more than mile where people masked pain with smiles as they waved American flags with heavy hearts.
"I have a son that is in the military and I can't imagine if it was my kid, it would be very hard," said Rachael Ward, a military mom.
Ewy left an impression on everyone he met. Friends said he was still basking in the glow of being a new father. He is being remembered as a hard worker who never asked a platoon member to do anything he wasn't willing to take on. Across Facebook, thousands posted notes to thank his family and the support didn't stop online.
"We wanted to make this positive and show Oklahomans can stand together and that we are proud of our soldiers and it shows right here today," said Todd Jordan, who organized a Facebook page to generate support.
Several people said that despite the dip in temperatures Thursday, they didn't mind getting soaking wet to show thanks to Ewy's family for the ultimate sacrifice.
Ewy leaves behind a wife, parents and two-month old daughter .
President Obama awarded the soldier the Purple Heart.
Flags at the state capitol fly at half staff Thursday night.