The remains of a soldier who was killed a week ago in Afghanistan have been returned to his family in the U.S.
The Fayetteville Observer reports the family of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin greeted his flag-draped casket at Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg on Saturday. The 29-year-old from Newport News, Virginia, was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Also killed in the attack last Saturday was 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois.
According to a release by the 82nd Airborne Division, McLaughlin joined the Army in 2012. After completing basic combat training and advanced individual training, he was assigned to the 68th Engineer Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas as a horizontal construction engineer.
In 2016, he was assigned to the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N. C., where he served as a horizontal construction engineer and later as a squad leader.
His awards include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal, the 82nd Airborne Division said. McLaughlin is survived by his wife and four children.
After McLaughlin’s widow was given a moment to say goodbye, hundreds of other paratroopers lined the roadway to salute as the hearse was escorted away.