INDIANA (WTHI) - The Patriot Guard Riders escorting 1st Lt. Clayton Cullen arrived in Bicknell just after 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
25-year-old Clayton Cullen of Bicknell died after a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 20.
Many in Bicknell knew him as ‘Clay.’ He was a graduate of North Knox High School and was in the 4th Infantry Division in Colorado Springs.
On Wednesday morning, right around 6 a.m., 1st Lt. Cullen arrived back in Indiana at the Indianapolis International Airport. 1st Lt. Cullen's coach was then escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders west from Indianapolis on Interstate 70 back to the Wabash Valley.
Right around 7 a.m. Indiana State Police reported the coach had arrived into the Terre Haute area and then south onto U.S. 41 towards Sullivan County.
News 10's Kiley Thomas was in Sullivan County and was there when the procession passed by. Officials were encouraging the community the line the procession route to show their respect as the Patriot Guard escorts 1st. Lt. Cullen back to Bicknell.
PHOTOS | BRINGING HOME A HERO
At 7:49 a.m. Indiana State Police reported the procession was entering Knox County and then at 8:18 a.m. the procession had made it to the final stop in Bicknell.
Hundreds of people lined the streets in Bicknell waiting for the coach and escort to arrive. The streets on both sides were lined with American flags all the way to his final stop.
Law enforcement not only followed behind but also joined the crowds on the streets.
North Knox was on a two-hour delay on Wednesday so students could attend his returning. It was an emotional event that even drew in those who didn’t know Cullen but wanted to show their support.
“No, I did not know clay but it’s just obligatory as an American citizen and pay your respects,” said Stephanie Larson who is a Knox County resident. “The entire county stands behind them and support them.”
Cullen’s visitation will be this Friday from 2 until 7 p.m. at North Knox High School located at 11110 N. SR 159 in Bicknell.
Funeral services will be Saturday morning starting at 10 at the high school. Cullen will then be laid to rest at Bicknell Memorial Cemetery will full military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to North Knox Scholarship Foundation, 508 West Eleventh Street, Bicknell, Indiana 47512, in memory of Clayton Robert Cullen or Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike #420 Rockville, MD 20850.
If you would like to make an online contribution in Cullen’s honor, click here for more information.