Hundreds gathered at Fort Benning this morning to say goodbye to an American hero.
Medal of Honor recipient Robert B. Nett died Sunday in Columbus after a brief illness. He was 86.
Approximately 150 people descended upon Follow Me Chapel on post for the 10 a.m. funeral Mass celebrating his life and mourning his passing.
"My friend taught me about morality," said retired Gen. William Hartzog of Nett. "He taught me how to inspire on the battlefield."
Nett earned the nation's highest military award for valor on Dec. 14, 1944, for heroic actions during hand-to-hand fighting with Japanese soldiers at their heavily fortified stronghold on the west coast of Leyte in the Philippines. The commander of E Company, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, Nett spearheaded the assault, killing seven Japanese soldiers with his rifle and bayonet. Though he was seriously wounded three time during the attack, he was later able to rejoin his company and participate in the Okinawa campaign.
Following this morning's service, the long processional made its way to Fort Benning Cemetery where Nett received full military honors to include a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.
Post commander, Maj. Gen. Walt Wojdakowski presented a folded American flag to Nett's wife of 66 years, Frances Nett. Frances Nett was accompanied by her son, Dr. Robert B. Nett Jr., and his wife, Patti Ann Nett, along with their children, Erica and Nicholas Nett of San Antonio, Texas, and by his daughter, Frances Anne Randall, of Roswell, New Mexico and her husband, Doyle, and their daughter, Yvonne Michelle Randall of Las Vegas, NV.