Hundreds honor the life of fallen W.Va. soldier
On Wednesday, all West Virginia state flags at the state capitol and across the state flew at half staff to honor the burial of Command Sergeant Major Timothy Allen Bolyard, 42, who was killed earlier this month while serving in Afghanistan.
Family, friends, and colleagues gathered at the Message of Freedom Church in Grafton to say their goodbyes.
"For Tim, this was all about love: love for his family, love for his state, love of his state, and love of his country," said General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard.
"What Tim was able to accomplish was something that everyone strives to do: spending his time happily serving others," said Brigadier General Mark H. Landes
Bolyard was a decorated hero, who was killed in Afghanistan during his 10th deployment with the U.S. Army. Colleagues said he genuinely cared about his fellow soldiers.
"With Tim, it was never, 'How're you doing?' in passing. He would stop and wait for the answer, and he'd truly listen to the response," Landes said.
Hundreds packed the church as close friends shared the testimonies of those who knew him best. Bolyard grew up in Taylor County, where he was remembered fondly by the class of 1994 at Grafton High School as "Caveman." Outside, hundreds more lined route 50 as a motorcade led his funeral procession to his final resting place: the National Cemetery in Pruntytown.
"A young captain stated he was like a father figure to him. He was not the only one who said this, who referred to Tim in this manner," Landes said.