Hundreds of people gathered for a memorial candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the old Tolar football field to pay tribute to a real hometown hero, Sgt. 1st Class Riley Stephens, an Army Special Forces member who was killed at age 39 in battle on Sept. 28 in Afghanistan.
VFW District Chairman Jim Trimble introduced featured speakers Jamie Gray, Troy Armstrong and Dwayne Morris.
Representatives from the Army Special Forces Association presented one of their flags to the Stephens family in honor of the Green Beret.
The candles were lighted at 8:20 p.m., then the Tolar High School Band played the school song while the attendees raised their hands for a Rattler salute for the former football standout who graduated from THS in 1991.