Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss welcomed home by crowds

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, a Knoxville native who lost his life in the Kabul airport bombing last month, returns to East Tennessee.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
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A Hero's Homecoming

Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss is welcomed home after giving everything in Afghanistan

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, September 9, 2021

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss made a final trip home Thursday morning and was welcomed home by hundreds of East Tennesseans. His body landed at McGhee Tyson Airport around 10:30 a.m. and was transported in a procession to Mynatt Funeral Home.

Staff Sgt. Knauss was one of 13 United States servicemembers who gave their lives assisting people trying to leave Kabul, Afghanistan in the wake of the United States leaving the country after 20 years.

The procession made its way through Sgt. Knauss’ hometown and even made its way past the football field at Gibbs High School, which Sgt. Knauss attended. Flocks of East Tennesseans showed support by standing along the route with flags and family members. Kari Fry, a Knoxville resident who checked her two children out of school for the event, spoke to WVLT News on how important it is that they be present.

“I think it’s important for them to see how great of a country we have and what it means to serve our country and give your life for our country. I want them to know what true patriotism is,” Fry said.

Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee National Guard honored Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss at the McGhee as part of his dignified arrival.

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and fellow service members of Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss,” said Col. Lee Hartley, 134th Air Refueling Wing commander. “Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee National Guard were present today to ensure honor, respect, and dignity were afforded to Sergeant Knauss and his family.”

Those who could not attend this procession that would like to show support are invited to watch a second procession Saturday and attend a public memorial service at Gibbs High School.

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