JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The body of an Army sergeant who was killed earlier this month returned home to Jacksonville early Monday evening.
A casket containing the body of Sgt. Brittney Silvers was taken off a plane from Kentucky at Jacksonville International Airport and loaded it into a hearse. A procession including members of the military, local law enforcement, Brittney Silvers' immediate family and members of the Patriot Guard then began to a funeral home.
Retired Navy veteran Wendy Meadows, one of the Patriot Guards who took part in the procession, said she's upset over how Brittney Silvers died.
"This is something that should have never happened to this beautiful woman because she was strong and she was willing to serve our country," Meadows said. "She should have never had this tragedy, her life taken."
Brittney Silvers was off-duty when she was shot and killed Oct. 14 in on-post housing at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The FBI said her estranged husband, Victor Silvers, was arrested on a federal complaint in connection with the fatal shooting.
According to court documents, Brittney Silvers was inside her home on base with a male friend when Victor Silvers showed up, shot and wounded the man, and fatally shot his estranged wife four times.
An arrest affidavit shows the couple was in the middle of a divorce and Brittney Silvers had obtained a restraining order against Victor Silvers. The affidavit states a domestic violence order was issued Oct. 9 due to a prior domestic violence incident involving a weapon.
"It's devastating to me to see this happen to one of our brothers or our sisters in the military," Meadows said.
Patriot Guard Assistant Capt. Richard Vernon said it's even harder when they watch a fellow service member laid to rest.
"It's always hard for us. None of us like to stand for a funeral and we do lots of them, especially at the Jacksonville National Cemetery," Vernon said. "It gets easier for us at times, but every time we hear Taps, it's always hard."
Loved ones said Brittney Silvers grew up in Jacksonville and joined the Army after graduating from Terry Parker High School.
Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Northside Church of Christ.
Loved ones are asking for a motorcycle procession. Riders can gather outside the church at 11:30 a.m. to begin the procession to the Jacksonville National Cemetery.