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Public memorial service for Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin to be held Thursday

Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, was killed when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 27, 2018.

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By JARED STONESIFER | Beaver County Times, Pa. | Published: December 4, 2018

MOON TOWNSHIP (Tribune News Service) — Friends and family will be given the chance to pay their respects to fallen U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin later this week at a public memorial service in Pennsylvania.

The service, which is open to the public, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Impact Christian Chapel, 330 Hookstown Grade Road in Moon Township. An official service will occur at 4 p.m.

Elchin, 25, died last Tuesday after an improvised explosive device detonated alongside a road in the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. His body came back to the United States late last week, and he will eventually be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Elchin was a 2012 graduate of Hopewell Area High School, and also attended the Beaver Area School District for many years.

Due to strict military rules, Elchin's body will not return to Beaver County for the memorial service. Despite that, the family wanted to give friends and other relatives a chance to say goodbye.

"We wanted to have a service locally because he had so many friends and family," said Loney Duez, Elchin's stepfather. "This is for anybody that had anything to do with him."

Duez said the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming in the past week. Along those lines, Duez and other family members will be escorted from their home in Chippewa Township to the service in Moon by a group called the Patriot Guard Riders. The group, formed in 2005, consists of motorcycle riders who escort the families of fallen soldiers to their memorial services.

"The outpouring of support on this has been outrageous," he said. "It's just been amazing."

He added that personnel with the Air Force have been "taking care of the family, taking care of us."

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©2018 the Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.)
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