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Loved ones gather to mourn airman killed in Afghanistan

Family members of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin arrive for his memorial service on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Moon Township, Pa. Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather, right, walks with Elchins mother Dawna Duez, center, along with brothers Aaron Elchin, second from left, and Zachery Bly, left.

KEITH SRAKOCIC/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: December 6, 2018

HOOKSTOWN, Pa. — Friends and family are paying their respects to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin at a public memorial service.

The services got underway Thursday afternoon at Impact Christian Church, in Moon Township.

Due to strict military rules, Elchin's body didn't return to Beaver County for the service.

Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather, tells the Beaver County Times that a local service was important because he had so many friends and family.

Motorcyclists of the Patriot Guard Riders escorted Elchin's family on Interstate 376 from their home to the church.

Several fire departments were stationed along the route, displaying U.S. flags in tribute.

Elchin was one of three service members who died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last week. A fourth— Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, from Export, Pennsylvania — died this week.

Elchin will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Members of the U.S. Air Force greet Patriot Guard Riders in Moon Township, Pa., on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 as they arrive for a memorial service for Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin who was killed in November in Afghanistan.
KEITH SRAKOCIC/AP

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