Funeral held for fallen soldier

December 4, 2009 2:52:22 PM PST
On Friday, the funeral service was held for Sergeant Jason McLeod, a northwest suburban soldier killed in Afghanistan. Sergeant McLeod died on November 23 during a mortar attack. The line of vehicles for those paying him respect stretched for miles.

His funeral procession stretched through Crystal Lake including police departments from the northwest suburbs, state police, fire departments and the Patriot Guard Riders ? their only mission is to honor those who gave their lives in service.

As the hearse, carrying the body of Sergeant Jason McLeod passed by, people paused in silence.

On this wintry day - friends and family gathered earlier at this Crystal Lake funeral home to say goodbye.

Specialist Gary Sommer served with Sergeant McLeod in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I feel like I've just lost my brother - not just service to the military - I hung out with him everyday, all day. He was part of my family too. My wife and child know him and loved him," said Sommer.

Governor Pat Quinn attended the funeral.

"It's a profoundly sad day for the state. He leaves a loving wife, brother and sister, mom and dad - and a little baby, Jocelyn," said Quinn.

"We've all lost a son, a son of America. We're here to show support for the family and for the community," said Meyers.

Support has been evident from the moment Sergeant McLeod's body returned to Illinois - at Dupage Airport on Wednesday.

Patriot Guard Riders escorted the procession through the far western and northwestern suburbs.

Schools in Crystal Lake allowed their students to leave class and line the route to honor a hero.

"It was heart-touching, a beautiful thing. the lines in some cases were 3 rows deep," said Major Brad Leighton, Illinois National Guard.

On Friday, the same passion could be seen in a procession of cars and trucks heading to a cemetery.

"These people knew Sgt. McLeod. They knew him growing up and they loved him," said Leighton.


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