Mansfield salutes fallen soldier




Posted on September 9, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 9 at 6:19 PM

Mansfield soldier saluted

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MANSFIELD -- Thousands of Mansfield residents came out to honor one of their own Friday.

Funeral services were held for 20-year-old Specialist Jesse Dietrich, an U.S. Army solider who was killed last week in Afghanistan.

Dietrich grew up in Mansfield and the community lined the streets holding flags as a way to show respect for the fallen soldier.

"We're here to honor a solider who gave it all, who gave his life," said veteran Al Robart.

City hall was shutdown briefly as employees were allowed to go outside and watch the procession.

Mansfield ISD allowed students at four of its schools to leave class and show support for a young man not much older than them.

"When I heard he was 20 years old, I teared up," said Legacy High school senior Britney Sutton.

"Some of my friends are 20 years old, and it could be one of them," she added.

Cherri Hughes had tears in her eyes as she watched along the street.

Her son Jason, a solider, is deploying to Kandahar, the same area where Dietrich was when he lost his life.

"I looked at him sleeping last night and wondered if this is going to be the last time I see him," Dietrich said.

They are a mother's fears as she watched someone else's son come home to a proud, but saddened, community who has lost one of their own.