Yesterday afternoon a plane landed at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and passengers on that plane were asked to wait on board as a sign of respect while a service member’s remains were unloaded.
Draped in an American flag, was the casket carrying the remains of 20-year-old PFC Austin Stump, an Army Ranger and a 2017 graduate of Manatee High School, PFC Stump was escorted off the plane and into the waiting hands of an Army Honor Guard detail.
SFC Denis Harris, casualty assistance officer in Tampa, said the Army could not discuss the circumstances surrounding Stump’s death “at this time.”
Stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., Stump was scheduled for his first overseas deployment in December with the Third Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry Regiment.
Stump graduated from Manatee High School in 2017 and was a member of the school’s Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps for all four years of school. He was a member of the school’s JROTC Raider team, bringing home back-to-back state championships for the Hurricane Battalion.
American flags donned the motorcycles of about a dozen Patriot Guard Riders who helped welcome home PFC Stump yesterday.
PFC Stump is survived by his mother Pam and his father Lt. John Stump with West Manatee Fire and Rescue and several brothers and sisters.
Visitation is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. this Sunday at Covell Funeral Home, 4232 26th St. W.
A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, Sept. 21 at The Bridge Church.
The family ask in lieu of flowers, people should donate to the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund(leadthewayfund.org), which provides financial assistance to the families of Army Rangers who have died, become disabled or who are currently serving in harm’s way around the world.