OWATONNA, Minn. – Friends, family, and the general public gathered to honor a fallen soldier.
The body of Waseca native, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson arrived in Owatonna Saturday afternoon.
Erickson died on Feb. 28 during a combat operation in Afghanistan.
According to Erickson’s family, he was in the last truck of a convoy when it was attacked in Helmand province.
Among the many in attendance of the procession, John Redfield with the Patriot Guard Riders, saluted to the local hero and paid his respects to the Erickson family.
“I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve been to,” he said, “but it’s way too many, and I’m just here so that hopefully it’s of some help to the family, that they know America supports them.”
Redfield says he has never served, but for him, attending gatherings like this is his way of serving his country.
As many paid tribute to their fallen hero, Redfield stood by in hopes that people understand what this sacrifice was really about.
“America has become kind of complacent about the whole war,” he said, “we’re not here talking about the war, were here for the warrior, and a family that’s going through so much.”
Erickson was a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School and his unit was based at camp Le Jeune in North Carolina.
A visitation for Erickson will be held Monday at Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca and the funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Monday.