Burial plans being finalized for soldier

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Plans to bury Sgt. Todd Partridge are being formed, according to his pastor and the Army.

Partridge, a 35-year-old Natchez native who lost his life Saturday in Iraq, will be buried with full military honors, Sgt. Elroy Winding said. Winding is the funeral director for the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Winding said it takes seven to eight days for a body to make it from Iraq to the hometown for burial.

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Winding and Rev. Bill Hurt, the minister at First Baptist Church, gave the same tentative timetable in separate phone interviews, with Hurt stressing &uot;nothing is confirmed.&uot;

Partridge’s mother and family members will fly to Fort Lewis, Wash., Wednesday in anticipation of a memorial service at the base either Thursday or Friday.

Partridge’s body will be flown home over the weekend and the funeral will take place early next week.

Partridge’s widow and two children have been living in Fort Lewis since Partridge joined the Army and was transferred there.

Partridge was killed Saturday when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated underneath his vehicle.

He is the second Natchezian to die in the war. Cpl. Henry Levon Brown died April 8, 2003.