Community honors Central Point fallen soldier

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — A Central Point soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan and died last month, returns to the Rogue Valley to be honored and laid to rest.

Specialist Branden Kimball was honored with full military honors and a procession at Eagle Point National Cemetery Monday afternoon. Community members gathered to honor specialist Kimball, who he made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for his country.

“Today is showing honor for a fellow veteran that’s given his last, his last hoorah for the country,” Layne Miller, Old Guard Rider, said.

The procession was led by multiple police agencies and followed by fellow vets in honor of U.S. Army specialist Kimball.

“It’s what it’s all about. We stand for our soldiers, our fallen, whether they fought in World War I, II, Korea, you know. When their day comes, we want to be here for them,” Patrick Allen, Old Guard Rider, said.

The Department of Defense says Kimball died at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan from a non-combat related incident on February 12. The 21-year-old was working as an aircraft structural repairer. He served with the 3rd battalion, 10th aviation regiment, 10th combat aviation brigade out of Fort Drum, New York.

“Any good american would want to be here and stand for a soldier that gave his life,” Patrick Allen, Old Guard Rider, said.

The Crater High School grad joined the army in August of 2016 and was on his first deployment when he died.

“We’re still brothers and sisters. Past, present and future,” Layne Miller, Old Guard Rider, said.

Laid to rest surrounded by friends, family, and local vets, they say specialist Kimball will go down as a hero.

“Whether we know you or not, you’re still part of the family. Always will be until the day we pass on,” Layne Miller, Old Guard Rider, said.

An army representative says Kimball’s awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. The U.S. Army still has not released his cause of death.

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