By Michelle Brooks
Russellville (MO) — Wearing ceremonial white gloves and standing at attention, many members of the Russellville-Lohman Fire Protection District took turns standing guard at the casket of a young firefighter in the Russellville High School gym.
The visitation for Kaleb Libbert, 20, of Centertown, who died in a vehicle accident September 26, lasted 10 hours, including a balloon release outside at the baseball field, where he had played a few years earlier.
The firefighters were there the entire time to show honor and respect to the young man many had mentored as an adopted son, said Chief Chris Cinotto. The honor guard was part of that effort.
Volunteers from the Cole County Fire Protection District, including Capt. Larry Rizner, taught the Russellville-Lohman volunteers proper motions, steps, turns and stances.
The county firemen also covered the Russellville-Lohman district the day of the funeral with seven firefighters and its own equipment, which was set at the edge of Route AA as part of a salute they offered during the funeral procession.
Further, the county department shared its restored 1969 pumper truck, equipped to transport caskets.
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