Hundreds of people gathered at the Central Illinois Regional Airport to welcome home the body of Army Ranger and Sergeant Josh Rodgers.
Rodgers was killed in Afghanistan last week. An honor guard escorted the casket from the aircraft that landed at the old section of the airport grounds.
Rodgers died from small-arms fire in Nangarhar province in a joint operation with Afghan forces against ISIS Khorasan group. Rodgers and another soldier who died in the same battle were members of 3rd Batallion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Hundreds more lined the street outside the Kibler-Brady-Ruestman memorial home as a cortege of vehicles lead by police took the body from the airport to the funeral home.
A celebration of Rodgers' life will be 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Eastview Christian Church in Normal. Burial at Evergreen Cemetery will be private, but police and other officials are urging people to line the route of the processional from Eastview Church to the cemetery to honor Rodgers.
Unit Five, State Farm which employs Rodgers' parents, and other community organizations are urging people to wear red, white, and blue colors to honor Rodgers.
The Defense Department is investigating Rodgers' death for potential friendly fire involvement.
Rodgers graduated from Normal Community High School in 2013. Friends of the family have also established a memorial fund in honor of Rodgers.
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