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Mynatt Funeral Home to pay for Army Staff Sgt. Knauss’ VA transport

Knoxville WVLT-TV logo Knoxville WVLT-TV 9/13/2021 Paige Hill
a group of people riding on the back of a motorcycle: A hero comes home © Provided by Knoxville WVLT-TV A hero comes home

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Mynatt Funeral home will reportedly cover the cost of the Knoxville to Virginia transportation of Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, according to Robert Rutherford, the Funeral Director at Mynatt Funeral Home.

Rutherford said the funeral home and the Knauss family had been overwhelmed by the support shown by the community.

He also said when the funeral home was contacted concerning Knauss’ death, as a locally owned and operated business, they would serve the family with no charge for the services or transportation, according to a social media post.

The Department of Defense stated Monday that the government would only pay for one transfer for Staff Sgt. Knauss, but later corrected the statement, saying the Department of Defense plans to also reimburse Mynatt the cost of transporting Staff Sgt. Knauss to Arlington National Cemetery.

A spokesperson with Mynatt Funeral Home said they were covering the expenses because of “who Ryan was and what he did - fight for our freedom.”

The only expenses related to the local services were for the audio, which was discounted, and the cost of the obituary publication, according to Rutherford.

“Some folks have called this week wishing to contribute to those two expenses and we have accepted those donations and have applied those to these costs,” said Rutherford. “We appreciate the willingness of our great community to reimburse our fuel expenses but as we told the family from day one, we will cover these expenses as a local business wishing to honor our hometown hero.”

The Knox County Sheriff’s Department will also provide an escort for the trip to Virginia.

“We are so proud to be a small part of such a great community and thank you for allowing us to serve your families for over 100 years,” said the social media post.

The funeral home said in lieu of donations for fuel expenses, the community could consider supporting Gibbs High School JROTC or another military program in memory of Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss.

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