Nebraska Patriot Guard Riders honor fallen soldier - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Nebraska Patriot Guard Riders honor fallen soldier

By: Lauren Fabrizi

Margarita Hatfield can only imagine the pain the family of a fallen Hickman soldier is going though right now.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Prange was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan two weeks ago.

Wednesday, Hartfield gave a heartfelt message to his family:

"I so appreciate his service and his willingness to put his country before everything else," she said. "And that I am so sorry for their loss."

Hatfield has a son who is currently deployed overseas. She was joined by the Nebraska Patriot Guard riders to pay tribute to Prange. The riders escorted Prange's body from the Nebraska National Guard base to Lincoln Memorial. 

It's something the riders do out of respect for fallen soldiers across the state.

"We just want to be there to let them know that they aren't alone," Chuck Sohm of the Nebraska Patriot Guard Riders said. "They aren't doing this by themselves."

Most riders are former war veterans. 40 members from the eastern Nebraska chapter were there, including 13–year–old Alyssa Loudon. She rides on the back of her dad's bike.

"It makes me feel good to support them," she said.

Prange was one of two soldiers killed July 24 by an IED. He was a husband and father of two.

"They're grieving their dad and their husband, he's in a flag–draped coffin," rider Kay Banner said. "My heart just pours out for them. It's just really tough."

A memorial fund has been set up for Prange's family. Donations can be made at any First State Bank in Lincoln, Hickman, Yutan, Wilber, Hallam, Dorchester, Cortland, Firth, Filley, DeWitt, Pickrell, Western, and Waverly.

Services for Prange will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln.
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