Fallen Hero Honored in Hometown


TROY -- At just 24 years old, Private First Class Jeffrey Rice had been in the Army long enough to see the mountains of Afghanistan twice. The Troy native served with distinction, and Monday he was buried with honor.As Old Glory surrounded the Baird Funeral Home and filled the hands of dozens of onlookers, Rice, 24, was honored for paying the ultimate sacrifice."He's a hero, a fallen hero, and it's his hometown, and I'm just here to show my support to his family and to he himself" said Herold Sergent of Troy.Rice was killed two weeks ago while fighting in Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His body was returned to the Miami Valley over the weekend.Seeing service men and women care for their fallen brother in arms while the Ohio Patriot Guard hoist their flags high overhead, is an image many parents on hand hope their children will learn to appreciate."As the children grow up, they need to understand what supporting our country and supporting what life is overall," said Melissa Leembrugger of Troy.As Rice's body was taken to its final resting place, the people of Troy wanted to send a message to his family left behind, that the community will forever be there for them."If it makes the parents and the family and friends feel a little better in a bad situation, then we did our part," said Jim Dice, Troy Resident.

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