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Body of Fallen Soldier Returns to Las Vegas | News

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Body of Fallen Soldier Returns to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- A decorated soldier killed in Afghanistan was returned to his family. Army Sergeant Matthew Hennigan was killed last week. His casket has been returned to Las Vegas to be buried this weekend.

Sgt. Hennigan was promoted from Specialist last week after he died. His casket arrived on a military plane from Dover, Delaware. His family stood inside the small terminal watching their decorated son return home. They will bury him this weekend, honoring his life and service.

"The whole family is just crushed, heartbroken, but at the same time we are so very, very proud of Matt. He was a great young man, a great soldier and he's going to be missed but never forgotten," said said Matt's father Joseph Hennigan.

The 20-year-old served in the United States Army for just under three years. He enlisted after graduating from Silverado High School and was serving his first tour of duty in eastern Afghanistan.

Last week, his battalion, the 173rd Airborne, nicknamed Task Force Raptor, came under siege from enemy forces. Hennigan was shot and later died from his wounds on June 30th.

"I'm just going to cherish the time I had with him, especially this last trip home. Like I said, I was one of the last fortunate ones who was able to hold him, hug him, kiss him, tell him I love him and that's what's going to sustain me down the road," said Matt's father.

Sgt. Hennigan was a decorated soldier. He was awarded the Purple Heart medal, the Army Achievement medal, the Army Good Conduct medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service ribbon, the NATO medal, the Combat Action badge and the Parachutists badge.

Two Army memorial services are being held to honor Sgt. Hennigan. One is Thursday in Vicenza, Italy and the other is next Thursday in Bamberg, Germany, where he was based.

The Hennigan family funeral and burial will be this Sunday at Palm Mortuary at Eastern and Sunset.


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