Hundreds honor fallen Marine returning home - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hundreds honor fallen Marine returning home


OWATONNA, Minn. (KTTC)--The body of a fallen Marine from Waseca returned to southeast Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.  The plane carrying Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson's remains arrived at Owatonna Degner Regional Airport around 2:45 p.m.

More than 30 patriot guard members, firefighters and other first responders waited on the tarmac to welcome the young soldier home.  Erickson's body arrived in the U.S. earlier this week at Dover Air Force Base in Deleware.

"This young man went through experiences that I cannot relate to but I know they were terrible," said John Redfield, a patriot guard member.  "He deserves our respect and he deserves the chance we're taking to honor all the sacrifices he and his family have made for what we do, for what America stands for."

His flag draped casket was received from the flight crew by his fellow Marines.  The U.S. Department of Defense says Lance Cpl. Erickson died February 28 while involved in combat operations in Helmand Province.  His family says Erickson was the gunner in the last truck of the convoy when it was attacked.

Hundreds of cars lined the road from the airport to Old Highway 14 as the funeral procession left the airport just after 3:30 p.m.  The procession route stretched for miles on Old Highway 14 all the way to Waseca.

Erickson was a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School.  His unit was based at Camp Lejeune, N. C.

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