MIDLOTHIAN -- In a light drizzle, Donnie Reeves stood at attention along Highway 287, clutching an American flag with his wife.
They waited for more than an hour near Midlothian’s high school football stadium for a glimpse of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s funeral procession.
“Chris died for our country. He fought for our country,” said the retired Midlothian police officer. “We need to be out here and show that we believe in him.”
Hundreds of people braved the rain to line highways and stand on overpasses to pay respect to the fallen sniper.
“It’s the least we can do,” said Reeves’ wife, Robine. “He probably was in the cold and the rain in the weather -- supporting our country.”
A white hearse carried Kyle’s flag-draped coffin from Midlothian, where he lived with his wife and two children, to Austin in one of the largest funeral processions Texas has ever seen. A light rain fell on approximately 200 motorcycles, buses, and police cars as it began its 200-mile journey.
Lamar Seago decided to join the Patriot Guard Riders after Kyle’s death so he could escort the remains to Austin.
“I just felt like this was something I could do for the family,” Seago said. “My daughter and his daughter play soccer together, and it just touched me.”
The procession traveled to the Texas State Cemetery for Kyle's burial Tuesday afternoon. The 38-year-old was a best-selling author and considered the deadliest sniper in the history of the U.S. military.
Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield, 35, were shot multiple times at a remote shooting range earlier this month. Eddie Routh, 25, was arrested for the murder. Friends say Kyle was trying to help Routh deal with his post traumatic stress disorder.
In Kyle’s hometown of Midlothian, 25 miles southwest of Dallas, many considered him a friend.
“We got to see him at the football stadium and interact with the kids,” said Carley Rodermund, who brought her two children to watch the procession. “He was such a big part of the community.”
After the procession’s last car passed by Donnie Reeves, he and his wife then took a moment to carefully fold their American flag.
“It’ll fly at my house until the day it needs to be retired,” Reeves said, his voice choked with emotion. “Life will go on.”