Hundreds of people lined the streets between the Columbus Municipal Airport and a funeral home as Army Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter’s body was returned to his hometown Tuesday.
The 23-year-old was one of two American soldiers killed in the Aug. 2 suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy in Afghanistan. Hunter’s father says he was 32 days into his first deployment.
Resident Christy Stackhouse says she’s not surprised so many people showed up to honor Sgt. Hunter and be there for his family.
“We know this happens every day, it just doesn’t happen this close to home every day, so we want to be there for them and show them our support,” she says.
Veteran James Martin says it’s important to honor fallen soldiers, especially in your own community.
“I’ve pretty much lived here all my life and I just came down to celebrate his family and what they’ve gone through,” he says.
Hunter is a graduate of Columbus East High School. District officials say he is the second graduate of that school to be killed in service in Afghanistan.
His funeral is set for Saturday afternoon.