Large crowds are expected to line the streets of Pacific Saturday as the remains of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan last week will return home.
A procession will be held for Spc. Jeffrey Lee White Jr., 21, Catawissa, who died April 3, during Operation Enduring Freedom.
White’s remains are expected to arrive at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 11 a.m. Saturday, according to Jeff Palmore, owner of Bell Funeral Home, Pacific, which is handling the funeral arrangements.
From the airport, the procession route will follow Interstate 70 west to Interstate 270 and south to Interstate 44.
The procession will take exit 261 at Six Flags Road/Allenton and proceed west on Old Route 66, which turns into Osage Street in Pacific.
From there, the route will turn left on North Fourth Street and travel south for one block. The procession will go right on Union Street and travel west to Bell Funeral Home at 709 W. Union St.
Palmore said the procession could arrive in Pacific around noon or 12:30 p.m. The community is encouraged to line the Pacific route to honor White.
Friday afternoon, volunteers were scheduled to put up U.S. flags along the route in Pacific.
The Action Riders, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the Freedom of Road Riders Local 42, both of Pacific, will escort White’s remains and his family to Pacific.
The riders will meet at the Pacific Eagles at 707 W. Congress St. and leave for the airport at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
After the procession ends at the funeral home, there will be no further services for the public Saturday.
A public visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at First Baptist Church, 51 Highway M, Villa Ridge. A memorial for family members only will take place beforehand.
A funeral service will start at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, at the church. Burial will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis.
White will be cremated, according to his mother, Paula White.
In addition to his mother, White is survived by his father, Jeff, and brothers, Michael and Kyle.
The home opener ceremonies for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday afternoon was scheduled to culminate with the formal raising of the 2011 World Series championship banner by White’s family.
White was an avid Cardinals fan who was home on leave for Game 7 of the World Series last October.
He was scheduled to come home this week on leave and planned to attend this year’s home opener with his family.
His deployment was set to end this fall and he was about 11 months away from the end of his enlistment.
White was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based out of Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He served as an infantryman.
The specialist was killed in the Khowst Province of Afghanistan after insurgents attacked his unit using an IED, or improvised explosive device, while on a mounted patrol, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Five other soldiers were wounded in the incident April 3. White’s family was notified later that day.
White joined the U.S. Army in October 2009 and graduated from basic training, advanced individual training and the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, Ga.
He arrived in Alaska in April 2010 and deployed with the airborne brigade in December 2011. This was his first combat deployment.
White graduated from Pacific High School in 2008.