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|Kewanee Guard Helps Honor Fallen Soldier
|Members of a Kewanee-based National Guard unit helped give one of their comrade the best possible farewell, under the most difficult of circumstances.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Troop of the 2nd Battalion, 106th Calvary helped provide patrols, escorts, and other duties Saturday for the funeral service of Sergeant Schuyler Patch. Patch and one other Illinois Guardsmen were among several who lost their lives February 24th when a roadside bomb detonated near the Afghanistan capital of Kandahar.
Second Lieutenant Blaine McCoy tells WGIL he didn't know Sergeant Patch too well personally, but many of his staff did, and felt they had to give him a proper sendoff. "The unit has worked awful hard to put this together," McCoy said. "(It took) several long nights, a lot of preparation, and we're still continuing on."
McCoy tells WGIL he feels especially heartened, though, by the attendance of one group of people who have attended plenty of military-related services in recent years. "We are blessed to have the Patriot Guard here," McCoy said. "They are a group of volunteers who give of their time, to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. They came with us Thursday during the procession, when Patch came in. They are here (Saturday) to show their respect as well."
Flags lined the streets of Kewanee, and many businesses used their signs to honor Patch's life. As many as 500 people packed the Wethersfield High School Gym Saturday, which included attendees as State Representative Don Moffitt and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
(Patriot Guard riders watch as more Patriot Guard riders lead Sgt. Schuyler Patch's funeral procession Saturday.)
(Flags flew at half mast Saturday at Veterans Park in downtown Galva in honor of their fallen resident. Sgt. Schuyler Patch. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
|03 07 09 by Newsroom
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