Loved Ones Gather to Mourn Airman Killed in Afghanistan

  • A memorial for U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, is displayed during a service in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Dec. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joseph Pick)
    A memorial for U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, is displayed during a service in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Dec. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joseph Pick)
  • Airmen and family members perform memorial pushups in honor of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, during a memorial service in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Dec. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joseph Pick)
    Airmen and family members perform memorial pushups in honor of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, during a memorial service in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Dec. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Joseph Pick)
  • Family members of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin arrive for his memorial service on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Moon Township, Pa. Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather, right, walks with Elchins mother Dawna Duez, center, along with brothers Aaron Elchin, second from left, and Zachery Bly, left. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
    Family members of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin arrive for his memorial service on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Moon Township, Pa. Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather, right, walks with Elchins mother Dawna Duez, center, along with brothers Aaron Elchin, second from left, and Zachery Bly, left. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

HOOKSTOWN, Pa. — Friends and family are paying their respects to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin at a public memorial service.

The services got underway Thursday afternoon at Impact Christian Church, in Moon Township.

Due to strict military rules, Elchin's body didn't return to Beaver County for the service.

Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather, tells the Beaver County Times that a local service was important because he had so many friends and family.

Motorcyclists of the Patriot Guard Riders escorted Elchin's family on Interstate 376 from their home to the church.

Several fire departments were stationed along the route, displaying U.S. flags in tribute.

Elchin was one of three service members who died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last week. A fourth— Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, from Export, Pennsylvania — died this week.

Elchin will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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