The family of a local soldier killed by a bear in Alaska invites people across Northeast Florida to come out Monday and pay their respects.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Seth Plant’s family will hold a private ceremony at the Jacksonville International Airport once the plane lands around 1:40 p.m.
The airport is asking people to stage along International Airport Boulevard heading toward Interstate 295 and south of Woodwings Road.
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From there, the procession will start at the airport and then along the interstate to U.S. 301. Along the way, it will pass through Duval, Clay, Bradford and St. Johns counties. From U.S. 301 it passes through Starke where Plant was born.
It will exit along State Road 230 and onto State Road 16 through Penney Farms and Green Cove Springs before crossing over the Shands Bridge.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office invited the community to come out around 2:45 p.m. and line S.R. 16 as the procession makes it way through the Green Cove Springs area around 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
The route will then head south on State Road 13 and east alone State Road 206 before turning North on A1A along the beaches Plant’s family says he loved. It ends at St. Johns Family Funeral home on State Road 207.
Plant was training with a small group earlier this month when they were attacked by a bear. Another soldier was injured but survived.
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Plant spent 12 years in the army, he served a year in Afghanistan and spent the better part of this past year in Alaska.
His family describe him as a “true patriot”, who loved serving his country, and dreamed of one day becoming a member of the elite Special Forces the Green Berets.
His visitation is scheduled for Friday and his funeral is Saturday at Anastasia Baptist Church.