Body of Hazel Crest native, army specialist Henry Mayfield returns home

HAZEL CREST, Ill. (WLS) -- Army Specialist and Hazel Crest native Henry Mayfield, Jr. is home now.

A military plane landed at O'Hare Airport Wednesday afternoon with his body.

From there, a procession escorted Mayfield to his hometown of Hazel Crest. The procession passed Hillcrest High School, his alma mater, and a hush fell over the students and staff.

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A military plane is scheduled to land at O'Hare Airport Wednesday afternoon with the body of Army Specialist Henry Mayfield, Junior.

"Our whole community is doing it, so you can tell everyone is involved. Everyone felt how deep it was," student Emaria Henderson said.

Jaedah Franks said the students appreciated what he did and wanted to support him and his family.

Jamilah Adebesin Mason is an art teacher at Hillcrest who had Mayfield in her class. She remembered him as a charismatic student.

"To know that he went to the military attempting to better himself and take care of school and to know that he lost his life in that matter breaks my heart," she said.

The family of the 23-year-old service member said a prayer around his hearse when it stopped at Village Hall.

Henry Mayfield, Sr. said he was touched by the outpouring of support.

"Just to see him honored this way was amazing. I'm at a loss for words for it," he said.

Mayfield was among three Americans killed last week when Al-Shabab extremists attacked Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya. Two American contractors with the Department of Defense were also killed.

RELATED: Soldier from Hazel Crest killed in Al-Shabab terrorist attack at Kenyan military base
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A 23-year-old soldier from south suburban Hazel Crest was among three Americans killed in a terrorist attack in Kenya Sunday, his family said.

On Tuesday, a yellow ribbon ceremony was held in Hazel Crest in honor of Mayfield.
Visitation will take place Friday from noon to 8 p.m. at Doty Nash Funeral Home at 3602 W. 183rd St.

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The family of a soldier from south suburban Hazel Crest killed in Kenya gives a statement.

Another visitation will be held on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at House of Hope Church, located at 752 E.114th St. That will be followed by the Military Purple Heart Ceremony from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and a Homegoing Service from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A funeral procession will then take place to Lincoln Cemetery, 20953 W. Hoff Road in Elwood.
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