Community mourns fallen soldier

By Anna Carrera

Published 09/24 2013 05:23PM

Updated 09/25 2013 09:57AM

NEOGA -- People in Cumberland County are saying goodbye to a fallen soldier. Staff Sergeant Randy Lane died of a heart attack this month while serving in Afghanistan. A memorial service in his honor started Tuesday afternoon.

He was born and raised in Neoga. He eventually moved to Indianapolis and served with Indiana's National Guard, but people who knew him say he was a Neoga boy through and through. The community there has been supporting Lane's family.

Members of the Patriot Guard prepared the streets for his visitation. People who knew Lane say he was always smiling and laughing and making everyone around him do the same. Staff Sergeant Josh Killion was serving with Lane in Afghanistan. He came all the way to Illinois to make sure his friend made it back.

"I volunteered to come here," said Staff Sergeant Killion. "I said I was going to escort him all the way home and get him laid to rest the right way."

"He's well-known here in the community of Neoga," said Richard Coen, who was Lane's youth leader at church and will be the minister for the services. "Everyone thought well of him and we see him as a hero. We're proud to say he belongs to us."

Tuesday's service is at the First Christian Church of Neoga and goes until 8 pm. That's where Lane went to church while he was growing up.

A special processional brought Lane to Neoga from Indianapolis Tuesday morning. People lined the streets to pay final respects to their soldier.

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