TAMPA — The bodies of two Tampa Bay area soldiers killed in a roadside blast in Afghanistan will be solemnly escorted along Bayshore Boulevard and through parts of downtown this week.
Deputies will escort the bodies of Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija on Tuesday and Army Spc. Clarence Williams III on Wednesday in funeral processions starting at MacDill Air Force Base, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
The escorts will travel along parts of Bayshore Boulevard, Platt Street, Florida Avenue, Jackson Street and Jefferson Street before taking Interstate 275. Other law enforcement agencies will be there as well, along with the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle club that backs veterans' causes and attends military funerals.
"We do it as a sign of respect for the fallen, as well as for the families," said Thomas "T-Man" Brown, 59, of Largo, an assistant state captain for the club.
A military service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at MacDill for Seija, 31, whose parents live in West Tampa. A procession to the Gonzalez Funeral Home, 7209 N Dale Mabry Highway, will start a half-hour after that. A private service is set for 3 to 5 p.m. Interment is scheduled the next day at 1 p.m. at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, according to the guard.
The procession for Williams, 23, of Brooksville, will start at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at MacDill and travel to the Carnegie Funeral Home in Chiefland, Levy County, the Sheriff's Office said.
Several services are planned for Williams: A visitation is set from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 600 Wood Drive in Brooksville.
At noon Saturday, a funeral service is scheduled at the Living Waters Worship Center, 3801 U.S. 441 N in Ocala. Interment plans haven't been set.
In addition, a memorial service for Williams will occur from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Grace World Outreach Church, 20366 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville.
Williams and Seija were riding in an armored vehicle in Wardak Province, south of Kabul, on July 8 when an roadside bomb exploded. Four other Americans also died in the blast.