Decatur Hero’s Remains Return Home

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

September 16, 2010 Updated Sep 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM EST

DECATUR, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A homecoming stirs grief.

The body of a soldier killed in Iraq is now back in Decatur.

Jeff Neumeyer spent time there Thursday, a town preparing to pay its full respects to a fallen hero.

Jeff Neumeyer: " American flags on display in the downtown area of Decatur, that's commonplace.

But there will be a heightened sense of patriotism on Saturday for the funeral of Staff Sgt. Phillip Jenkins.

The body was flown into the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base after 9 a.m. Thursday.

A police escort brought the remains to a Decatur funeral home shortly thereafter.

The route was not publicized, as family wanted that transport to be kept low profile.

Jenkins was one of two U.S. soldiers killed last week when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on his security group.

11 other soldiers were wounded.

That deadly violence occurred after President Obama declared the official end of combat operations in Iraq.

Jenkins leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.

Jared Bultemeyer/384th Military Police Fort Wayne: " Those poor little girls, they're not going to get to know their dad as well as they should have, but he did it honorably. It's also a breath of fresh air that he is here, he's not a lost soldier."

The city police department in Decatur is making security arrangements for the showing of the body and funeral at Bellmont High School on Saturday.

Ken Ketzler/Decatur Police Chief: " The community wants to show its gratitude, but it will be done in line with what the family wants. So, we're ramping it up a little bit, so we have coverage out at the high school."

Neumeyer: " Chief Ketzler says he's heard rumblings that members of a radical church out of Kansas, opposed to the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, might show up to protest at Jenkins' funeral.

He pledges their safety will be protected, but he hopes the group stays away.




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