Community Members Honor Fallen US Soldier With Procession
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Dozens of volunteers lined streets and set up American flags to honor U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk Fuchigami Jr., who died trying to protect other soldiers in Afghanistan.
Fuchigami was killed on Nov. 20 in a helicopter crash while providing security for troops on the ground in Logar province, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Most of the volunteers at Saturday’s procession said they didn’t know Fuchigami or his family, but felt they should show support for the sacrifice he made in Afghanistan.
“It’s patriotism at its finest,” said volunteer Phillip Swanson. “There are no Republicans, no Democrats, no races no religions, there’s none of that here – we’re just Americans honoring someone who gave his life for us.”
A dignified transfer for Fuchigami began Saturday at Ogden-Hinckley Airport in Ogden and traveled north along Interstate 15 to Brigham City.
Volunteers and the Follow the Flag organization coordinated the procession.
“This is an emotional day we are bringing home a soldier, who is family,” said Fuchigami’s sister-in-law Melissa Norman.
Fuchigami is originally from Keaau, Hawaii, but married McKenzie Fuchigami, who is from Corinne, Utah, in March.
Fuchigami will be buried with full military honors; funeral services will be held at a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 895 North 625 West in Brigham City at 11 a.m. Monday.
Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered U.S. and Utah state flags at all state facilities and public grounds to be flown at half-staff on Monday.
“Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. will forever be remembered,” Herbert said in a statement. “I was deeply saddened to hear of his death during line of duty while defending and protecting our country, and I am heartbroken for his young wife, Mckenzie. Jeanette and I send our deepest wishes and prayers to be with her and his family at this time. His sacrifice and dedication will never be forgotten.”
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a mark of respect.