Hundreds turn out to pay respects as body of paratrooper who died in Syria returns to St. George

ST. GEORGE — The Southern Utah community showed up in droves Thursday to pay their respects as the body of 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper and Southern Utah resident Sgt. Bryan “Cooper” Mount was escorted from the St. George Regional Airport to Metcalf Mortuary.

Community members line Main Street to pay their respects as the body of Sgt. Bryan Cooper Mount is returned to St. George, St. George, Utah, Aug. 6, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

The body, which was brought by aircraft to St. George, was escorted to the mortuary by a motorcade of around 50 cars, largely made up of law enforcement and nearly 100 motorcycles, including members of the Patriot Guard Riders who rode in missing man formation to honor the fallen soldier.

A respectful silence hung in the air despite the hundreds of people lining Main Street and St. George Boulevard to honor Mount who died from injuries sustained in a noncombat vehicle rollover accident in Syria on July 21.

The solemn and patriotic welcome home was marked by yellow ribbons tied around trees and poles along Main Street near Town Square, a large American flag flying from a fire engine ladder above the roundabout at Main Street and Tabernacle, and community members young and old waving flags, carrying signs of gratitude and placing their hands over their hearts as the motorcade passed by.

Janet Melchor, who was instrumental in helping to organize the welcome home gathering, said she was so grateful to the community for their support.

“It means so much because Cooper was such an amazing guy,” an emotional Melchor said.

According to a previous St. George News report, Mount was a cavalry scout assigned to 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div. when his Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle rolled over. The incident is under investigation.

Members of the Utah Dixie Detachment 1270, Marine Corps League attend the welcome home event for Sgt. Bryan Cooper Mount who was killed in Syria, St. George, Utah, Aug. 6, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

Mount entered the Army in January 2016 and arrived at Fort Bragg in June 2016. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with Combat Device, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge.

A viewing will be held Friday from 7-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary. Mount’s body will then be transported to Parowan where a viewing and service will be held Saturday at the Iron County Fairgrounds, 471 40 S., Parowan, beginning at 9:45 a.m. for the viewing and 11 a.m. for the service.

Mount will receive a military honorable burial ceremony at the Parowan Cemetery following the service.

He is survived by his wife and parents. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Mount’s family. A celebration of life video can be viewed here.

St. George News attended the event and compiled the following photo gallery.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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