Body of fallen soldier arrives in Indiana

January 17, 2012 4:50:46 AM PST
Hundreds of people paid their respects to Sgt. Brian J. Leonhardt as his body returned home to northwest Indiana. The National Guardsman was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.

The National Guardsman was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month. Sgt. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind., is one of four members of the Valparaiso-based 713th Engineer Company who died when a vehicle struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on January 6. Three of the fallen soldiers lived in the Chicago area.

"I have a son the same age. It's real sad. I don't even know the guy, and I feel so sorry for the family. I even cried myself. Such a young man, and he already lost his life." Simon Abeyta said.

A long procession of cars escorted his body through the town of Gary, Ind. A visitation for Leonhardt was set for Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Memory Lane Memorial Park and Funeral Chapel in Schererville. The funeral will be Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Hammond.

The three other soldiers killed were Spc. Robert Tauteris Jr., 44, of Hamlet; Spc. Christopher Patterson, 20, of Aurora, Ill.; and Jonathan Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis.


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