During the funeral Beery was remembered as a man of few words. Friends and family said he thought carefully about what he said and meant the words he said. It's clear from the large turnout at his funeral he touched many lives with just those few words.
Kentucky National Guard Adjutant General, Donald Storm, says, "They are very appreciative of the great support shown here today. We just lift the family up in prayer. Our thoughts and our hopes are with them."
The crowd of mourners gathered for Staff Sergeant Beery's burial braved the rain to say a final farewell to the soldier.Beery was only 30 years old when he died in Iraq, but he was on his third tour of duty with the Kentucky National Guard. He is the ninth National Guard soldier to lose his life in the war in Iraq.
"We have maintained over the past 18 months 12-15 hundred soldiers in Iraq. So Kentucky has certainly stood up. And the Kentucky National Guard, both Army and Air, have certainly stood to the forefront and answered the call,” Storm says.
His wife, Sara, and daughter, Elissa, sat in front as the flag was folded and presented to them. Three Blackhawk helicopters flew overhead during the flag ceremony.
The absence of protesters who have shown up at dozens of soldier funerals wasn't missed.
Storm says, "I'm elated. I'm elated because we'll fight to the death to protect those people’s rights, however, there's a certain amount of honor and dignity that these families who are grieving deserve."
Legislators worked with Gov. Fletcher to sign a bill that would prohibit protesters from coming to soldiers funerals this week. Staff Sergeant Beery is the first soldier to be protected by the new law. And Storm recommended it be named in honor of Staff Sergeant Beery.