Residents pay tribute to Spc. Arronn Fields

Saturday, June 2, 2012
The Greencastle aerial fire truck helps hoist a Garrison Flag over U.S. 40 as a funeral procession for Army Spc. Arronn Fields, 27, Knightsville, unfolds Friday afternoon.

BRAZIL -- Even colder temperatures couldn't keep Clay County residents from honoring one of their own Friday.

Citizens lined up along U.S. 40 (National Avenue) in Brazil to honor the return of Army Spc. Arronn Fields, 27, Knightsville, who died May 21, from injuries sustained during a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Qal-ah-ye Mirza Jal, Afghanistan, while conducting a mounted patrol.

A funeral procession took place Friday to honor Fields. After his body was flown to the Terre Haute International Airport, he was taken back to Brazil to Moore Funeral Home, which is handling funeral arrangements.

Brazil resident Deanna Coleman brought her children with her. They stood near Brazil City Hall as the street flooded with residents.

Coleman said she and her family also attended the funeral procession for Marine Cpl. Gregory Stultz two years ago.

As the procession took place, her children asked several questions. Coleman said her husband is also in the National Guard.

"We're here to pay respect," Coleman said. "(Spc. Fields) served our country."

Spec. Fields had deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year with the 381st Military Police Company, 81st Troop Command as part of Task Force Guardian, a multi-unit military police force from Indiana.

He had enlisted in the Indiana National Guard in 2006 and was a 2003 Northview High School graduate.

Spc. Fields had also served a tour in Iraq.

The Indiana Patriot Guard Riders led the funeral procession. In addition, several law enforcement agencies, including the Clay City Police Department, Indiana State Police, Brazil Police Department, Terre Haute City Police Department, Vigo County Sheriff's Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department, Knightsville town marshal and Carbon town marshal, all took part.

"This is to honor the soldiers who have fought for our freedom," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "This is about the family and the soldier."

The motorcade flowed through Brazil at approximately noon. The procession was greeted by a Garrison Flag (a 20-foot high by 38-foot long American flag), which was donated to the City of Brazil by the French family in 2011. The flag was hoisted by trucks from the Greencastle and Brazil fire departments.

Funeral home officials stated visitation times for Spc. Fields would be 2-8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Services will be conducted at the Brazil Nazarene Church at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Funeral home officials announced Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana National Guard Adjutant Gen. R. Martin Umbarger would both attend the funeral.

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