Henry Mayfield Jr., Hazel Crest soldier killed in terrorist attack, laid to rest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mourners paid their final respects Saturday for a local soldier killed in a terror attack in Kenya, before he was laid to rest.

A steady stream of mourners filed into House of Hope church Saturday.

"There are two younger brothers that need to be prayed for and definitely thought about during this time and just an overall great family," said Sa'Rah Valentine, who attended Saturday.

Many in attendance did not know him but wanted to support the family.

"I spent my time in Vietnam, and I understand the loss that family and people and neighbors feel when something like this occurs," said Anthony M. Martin, police chief at Prairie State College. "And I could do no less than come here and celebrate this young man."

After the funeral, Mayfield's casket was taken to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

With flags flying down the street, family, friends and supporters gathered Friday to pay respects and honor 23-year-old Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr., who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, at his visitation.

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Henry Mayfield Jr. made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. The 23-year-old Army specialist was killed during a terrorist attack in Kenya.

"Right now it's just a sad situation. He died so young," said Ethelene Dean, Mayfield's aunt.

Dean was filled with pride and pain as she saw patriot guard honors bestowed, and mourned the loss of her nephew.

"It's very meaningful," she said. "But ... it doesn't take away from the pain of the loss of a loved one."

Mayfield was killed in a terrorist attack in Kenya. His body returned home this week with military honors.

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A fallen soldier from south suburban Hazel Crest was remembered Tuesday with a yellow ribbon ceremony.

Neighbors wrapped yellow ribbons around trees in his hometown to show their respect and recognize a hero.

"It's a great honor to have these young men go out and protect our country, and when something happens to them, it is such a tragedy," said mourner Debra Balfour.

Mayfield's grandfather, who served in the Marines, said he's thankful for the kindness he's seen in the community.

"It's words that I really can't explain right now, cause it's a heartbreaking thing what happened," Jerry Holloway said. "But I thank the community, and I thank everyone that gave their love and support towards the family."

It's a hero's story that lives on now through the lives he touched and the friends and family he leaves behind.

"People still care, still love our country and are willing to give their last breath in that service," said Dave Gier, senior ride captain of the Illinois Patriot Guard. "And this young man sadly did."
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