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Poppa said Hepfner, also a Belt Armani
Taps was played, and an honor guard stacked its rifles over Hepfner's grave a military tradition to honor the dead after they fired a 21 gun salute. Flags were given to Hepfner's mother, sister, stepfather and brother.
''It's a good way to honor him,'' Sergeant said.
''Blane Hepfner did not settle for mediocrity. He was one of those people who relished a challenge,'' Poppa, a chief warrant officer, said.
Boyle said he could tell what kind of man Hepfner was just by talking to family and friends at the calling hours, who told him of a man who loved his family and his job, as well as riding his motorcycle. He said Hepfner's birthday was within five days of that of his oldest son, which Boyle said touched him deeply.
chief warrant officer, had a way to make anyone feel they were like family, and he said the military lost more than his skill as a pilot.
There were veterans of all branches of the service in the crowd as well as police officers from several local departments, including Hubbard, Hubbard Township, Youngstown, Howland, Liberty, Niles, Fowler, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Trumbull County Sheriff's Office. The body was escorted from the Kelley Robb Funeral Home to the cemetery by the Patriot Riders motorcycle group.
''We thought it was important to pay tribute to our men who fought for us and gave their lives so we could be free,'' Haynie said.
Poppa told the crowd he feels fortunate to have known and served with Hepfner, but that Hepfner would want them especially his comrades in uniform Guess Belt Buckle
'America's boy' laid to rest
Some residents watched the procession as it wound its way up North Main Street to the cemetery. Loretta Haynie, whose son helped to escort the procession, brought her grandchildren, Hannah, 11, and Paige, 8, because she said it was a good way for them to realize the sacrifices others make.
Hepfner's daughter, Kathryn White, 5, attended the funeral, at one point running into the arms of a family member when the Army chaplain tried to talk to her before the service. Later she seemed in Lv Belt Price
a better mood, laughing and talking to other family members before Gucci Belts Cheap the service began.
A pilot who served with Hepfner recalled how the fallen soldier had loved life and had been devoted to finding the best in himself and in others.
A contingent from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3307 on Albert Street in Youngstown also was on hand. Craig Sergeant, a member of the post and a Vietnam veteran, said one of Hepfner's uncles who had served in Vietnam had asked them to be on the route of the procession.
''The Lord has smiled on this gathering today,'' Boyle said. ''It's like he's putting His arms around us today.''
The two constants in talking with those who knew Hepfner is that there was no sense of regret and his laughter, Boyle said.
''He understood something about God's love and God's peace for one another,'' Boyle said.
to carry on.
Joe Poppa, a helicopter pilot who attended flight school with Hepfner and served with him in the 6th Cavalry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division, told the crowd that his friend had loved flying and riding his motorcycle.
''That was the constant thing everyone mentioned his humor,'' Boyle said.
An Army CH 47 Chinook helicopter flew over the cemetery near the conclusion of the service, and Hepfner's mother, Renee, and his sister, Janelle, hugged each other and sobbed. His mother waved overhead at the helicopter.
Hepfner and a pilot he was flying with were killed May 27 when their OH 58 Kiowa helicopter crashed while trying to land at their base in Hawaii. The accident is under investigation by the Army.
Boyle also said Hepfner reached out to reconcile with a friend and family member while he was serving in Iraq after saying he heard from God that he needed to do so. Boyle said Hepfner followed the example of Jesus, who reached out to reconcile humanity with God and paid for it with his death on the cross. He said obeying God's call to reach out in that instance showed what kind of faith Hepfner had.
''His Army family will miss his unique way of making coffee that would keep us up for three days straight,'' Poppa quipped.
Boyle also said God showed favor on the service, providing a breezy, dry day and clouds to block the sun and keep the mourners cool.
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