Fallen Soldier Back Home In RI

A fallen soldier is back home in Rhode Island. The body of Sergeant Dennis Weichel arrived at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick Saturday morning. The soldier is being remembered as a hero. He died saving an Afghani girl.

Family members, state leaders, and a military honor guard wait in the pouring rain for their hero to come home.

Sergeant Dennis Weichel's body was unloaded from a small plane that left Dover Air force Base. It was escorted by police and various veteran organizations to the Olson and Parent Funeral Home in Providence.

Patriot guard rider David Sunderland was part of the motorcade. “It's an extremely sad day, and it's also a proud day for Rhode Island because we know one of our own is a hero,” said Sunderland.

Weichel was killed March 22nd in Afghanistan saving an Afghani girl who tried to pick up a shell casing under a massive army vehicle.

“He saved a life of a girl who can go on and grow up and hopefully do great things in Afghanistan,” said Rhode Island National Guard Adjutant General Kevin McBride.

Now Weichel's own children Madison, Nicholas, and Hope will have to grow up without their dad.

“It's a very difficult time for the Weichel family, a very difficult time for his comrades in theater as they no longer have a hero with them,” said Major General McBride.

He said the family is heartbroken. They're not the only ones. There are at least three facebook pages devoted to the soldier. Hundreds of people in our community have commented on the pages thanking Sergeant Weichel for his service.

It's been six years since a Rhode Island National Guard soldier has died overseas. “It's a solemn reminder that we still have military men and women serving in a combat theater under dangerous conditions,” said Major General McBride, “In this case, Sergeant Weichel was certainly a true hero.”

Sergeant Dennis Weichel was 29 years old and was stationed in the Laghman Province in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Weichel's wake will be Sunday from 4pm to 8pm at the Olson and Parent Funeral Home in Providence.

A memorial service will be Monday at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence at 10am.

He will then be buried with full military honors at the Veterans Cemetery on South County Trail in Exeter.