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Procession brings slain soldier home to Crystal Lake
By Lee Filas | Daily Herald Staff

The Patriot Guard Riders stand at attention as the body of U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McLeod of Crystal Lake leaves DuPage County Airport in West Chicago.

 

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

The Patriot Guard Riders lead the escort for the body of U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McLeod of Crystal Lake from DuPage County Airport in West Chicago to Crystal Lake.

 

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Family is escorted out after the body of U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McLeod of Crystal Lake arrived at DuPage County Airport in West Chicago.

 

Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

Students from North Elementary School and Bernotas Middle School line Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake Wednesday morning.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Students from North Elementary School and Bernotas Middle School line Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake Wednesday morning as the procession goes by.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Students from North Elementary School and Bernotas Middle School line Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake Wednesday morning.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Sgt. Jason A. McLeod

 

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Published: 12/2/2009 9:00 AM | Updated: 12/2/2009 3:24 PM

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A phalanx of police cars and fire trucks from Crystal Lake and neighboring towns accompanied Army Sgt. Jason A. McLeod home Wednesday morning for the last time.

The body of McLeod, a 22-year-old Crystal Lake Central High School grad, husband and father who was killed Nov. 23 in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, was flown to DuPage Airport in West Chicago early Wednesday and driven the 30 miles to the Davenport Funeral Home in Crystal Lake.

Visitation will be Thursday and the funeral Friday.

Illinois State Police and Crystal Lake police led the procession from the airport, along with family members, military personnel, police and fire units and members of the Patriot Guard Riders. Well wishers lined the streets of Crystal Lake during the final leg of his procession.

Visitation will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday.

McLeod died last week west of Pashmul, Afghanistan, after his unit was attacked with mortar fire, the Department of Defense said.

McLeod was deployed to Afghanistan in May and was due to come home on leave in less than a month. He was a mechanic who worked on Humvees.

The 2006 graduate of Crystal Lake Central also served in Iraq in 2007 for about a year.

While in the Army, McLeod received numerous awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

He's survived by his wife of more than 2 years, Aimee Ghannam, 15-month-old daughter Jocelyn, parents and two siblings.

He was assigned to the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colo.