Residents line the streets as Okinawa airman who died in fall returns home to Pa.

Aha Falls as seen in northern Okinawa in August 2011. The Air Force announced on Saturday, May 6, 2017, that a female airman assigned to Kadena Air Base's 18th Munitions Squadron fell and died at the falls.


By BRIGID EDMUNDS | The Times-Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) | Published: May 16, 2017

FORTY FORT, Pa. (Tribune News Service) — People lined Wyoming Avenue with candles and American flags, and homes and businesses in the area kept their lights on early Tuesday morning for the return of Shannon Purcell, who died while serving with the U.S. Air Force in Japan on May 6.

Forty Fort and Kingston police, along with a motorcycle escort, guided the motorcade carrying Purcell off the Cross Valley Expressway to Rutter Avenue then to River Street and Wyoming Avenue to the Wroblewski Funeral Home.


Purcell, 18, a 2016 Valley West graduate, was assigned to the 18th Munitions Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski posted on Facebook Monday evening, asking residents along the route to leave their porch lights on “as a sign of respect and comfort for the family.”

Swoyersville Mayor Chris Concert ordered the borough to lower the flag to half staff Monday to honor Purcell.

“I believe you support our military,” Concert said.

“To have these people come out shows a lot of dedication.”


Concert, who didn’t know Purcell personally, said he wanted to honor her and was glad to see people come out to pay their respects both to Purcell and her family.

“It’s a nice tribute to escort her home,” he said.

To read Purcell’s obituary, click here.

©2017 The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
Visit The Times Leader at www.timesleader.com
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Residents line streets to honor Shannon Purcell

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