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Dozens gather to honor a local veteran who never stopped serving the community she loved

Posted at 6:13 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 20:14:46-05

KILLEEN, Texas — Dozens gathered to pay their respects to retired First Sergeant Brenda Hain, as she was laid to rest at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Many coming to tears as they said goodbye to their fallen hero after she lost her battle with cancer.

”There’s never going to be another one like her,” said Anna and Gary Johnston, friends of 1st Sgt. Hain.

“God broke the mold with her.”

The former soldier was known for her dedication and service to her country, and the veteran community.

Even attending as many unaccompanied veteran funerals as she could.

”She had a thing about death, she had a thing about life, and for her, the end of a soldier was an important part milestone in their story,” said her brother, Bruce Hain.

Now, friends and family escorted her to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery like Brenda had done for other veterans so many times before — a simple act that meant the world to her family.

”Oh, it means a lot obviously, that her devotion and her sacrifices, and the things that she did in service to others, is being recognized — it's very, very important,” Bruce Hain said.

It’s a bittersweet goodbye to the soldier who was always there to help a fellow vet and to stick up for the underdog.

”Like me when we first me, she taught me how to stand up for myself,” said Debra Bridges, childhood friend of 1st Sgt. Hain.

Those who knew 1st Sgt. Hain the best had a message to the soldier they sent to the Army Garrison in the sky after losing her battle with cancer.

”Your selflessness was an example for everybody to follow, and mom and dad would be proud,” Bruce Hain said.

“We’re all very proud.”

“Thank God for letting you be in my life,” Bridges said.

Some of Brenda's final wishes were to have her friends escort her to the cemetery and to be brought in on a horse-drawn carriage — a small request from an American soldier that never stop serving, and one that everybody was happy to see happen.