Funeral held for Crystal Lake Marine

January 30, 2012 4:23:46 AM PST
It was a final goodbye for hometown hero Capt. Nathan McHone.

"I just cannot say enough," family friend Gregory Wilson said. "It was very moving. They did their job of remembering him in a special way."

The Marine pilot is one of six U.S. Marines killed January 19 when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

He was on his second deployment with Operation Enduring Freedom and had planned to return home after completing his military service in two years.

"I came out to support a brother did everything he had for the country and did what he thought was right," said fellow Marine Brian Joyner.

Sunday's service follows a 25-mile long procession for the Crystal Lake native earlier this week.

McHone's homecoming began Friday at the DuPage County airport and then passed Crystal Lake South High School. where he graduated in 2001, before finally ending at his visitation.

He may be the fourth person from McHenry County and the third from the far northwestern suburb to die in Afghanistan.

Friends and family say the 29-year-old's dream was to become a pilot.

He attended Western Michigan University but joined the Marines in 2005 to log more flight time.

As a marine, he received numerous honors including two air medals and a NATO medal.

Hundreds flocked to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church to silently pay their respects before the patriot guard escorted Captain McHone to his final resting place.

McHone's death has overwhelmed most who knew him.

At his funeral Sunday, his life was celebrated, one he lived as an honorable man who served his country and others.