Funeral for soldier killed in Afghanistan
Posted at: 08/04/2012 1:03 PM | Updated at: 08/05/2012 12:39 AM
He is being called a warrior and someone who paid the ultimate price for his fellow soldiers. Saturday, family and members of the military were at the University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel to say goodbye to the man they say gave his life for his country.
"Amazing," says Tim Yetter, Patriot Guard Rider. "He gave the ultimate sacrifice."
It was a homecoming nobody wanted. The Patriot Guard Riders led the procession this afternoon. The body of 23-year-old Army Private First Class Theodore Matt Glende was escorted inside the chapel by military members. His family says Glende was killed in Afghanistan last Friday by enemy fire. They say he was helping fellow soldiers when his unit came under attack. The family tells us he ended up saving five lives.
Hundreds of people filled the Interfaith Chapel to say their final goodbyes. The Patriot Riders, who are known for honoring fallen soldiers across the nation, were there. Though the group honors fallen heroes several times a year, it's something they hope to see less of in the future.
"It's very difficult," says Yetter. "The hero is only 23-years-old and it's getting to the point now where we really seriously have to think about pulling our troops out and getting these kids home.
It wasn't just family, friends, and military members who attended the funeral. We spoke to a Will Palmer, who didn't know Glende personally, but came out to show his support for the fallen hero.
"I just think it's so important to acknowledge the sacrifices that these men and women have made," says Palmer. "For us, for our country, for our freedom."
Glende was a 2007 graduate of McQuaid High School where he ran on the track team. He decided to go into the military. He attended Niagara University and was in the ROTC program. Glende was married just last April before heading to Afghanistan.