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Adamsville family prepares to bury soldier found dead

David and Joy Winchester with their son Private First Class David Winchester after graduating Army boot camp.
David and Joy Winchester with their son Private First Class David Winchester after graduating Army boot camp.
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An Adamsville family waits for the return of the body of their 21-year old son from Fort Bragg. Army investigators have yet to say how the decorated soldier died.

The David and Joy Winchester have been told the body of Private First Class David Winchester will be returned arrive at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport Tuesday. The soldier, who most call Shiver, was found dead inside his barracks.

A flag flies on the house of a family proud to say their son served in the U.S. Army. Now, The Winchester want the Army to tell them how PFC Winchester died.

"He was always seen with a smile on his face. He had a heart. He would do anything for anybody. He was just selfless," said his mom Joy Winchester.

Shiver, as the family calls him, worked on Fort Bragg as a biomedical repair technician. The 2013 Tabernacle Christian Academy graduate was found unresponsive in his barracks Wednesday.

"I didn't get a call. I saw the army man come to my door. My heart sank because I knew. I knew what they were going to tell me," added Winchester.

Army investigators are trying to figure out how the 21-year-old soldier died.

"It's sad because my namesake will not travel on from me. It is very saddening to me," said his father David Shiver Winchester, Sr.

The elder Winchester admits the military scared him and he wasn't sure about his son joining last year.

But, all doubt was gone once dad saw his son in uniform for the first time.

"I just sat a little taller and smiled a little bigger. I was just so proud of that boy. I was super proud," said Winchester.

Proud is how Amber Winchester felt when her brother watched the birth of her children.

"I'll never forget the big goofy grin on his face. He could not quit smiling," said Amber Winchester.

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A plane carrying an Army Casualty Officer and the body of PFC Winchester is expected to land in Birmingham Tuesday. A private family-only ceremony is planned to take place on the tarmac. A funeral is set for Friday afternoon at Forestdale Freewill Baptist Church. The viewing starts at 11:00 a.m. The funeral starts at 2:00 p.m.

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