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Minnesota National Guard
Frazee Soldier laid to rest

FRAZEE, Minn " Sgt Greg Riewer has been laid to rest

Friends, family and military members packed the gym and an overflow room this afternoon at Frazee High School for the National Guardsman's funeral Mass Riewer died March 23 near Fallujah, Iraq, after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle

The 28-year-old was remembered today by the Rev Joe DeCrans as a man who was close to his family, who wanted to serve others and who lived life to the fullest but stayed close to his roots

Riewer didn't join the military for the money or to get away from his family and community, DeCrans said

"I believe he would say it was the right thing to do; somebody had to do it," DeCrans said "That was the way he lived his life"

He was speaking to an estimated 1,600 to 2,200 mourners, who filled the main gym and spilled over into a second multi-purpose room

Before the funeral, they filed through a visitation room, where tissue boxes " one empty " sat on a patriotic-print tablecloth Two somber Soldiers, heads down, flanked Riewer's flag-draped casket

Patriot Guard Riders held flags outside the school before the service and afterward at Riewer's burial at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Frazee

"The community support is second to none," said Chad Jutz, a friend of Riewer's "But that's the kind of family the Riewers are"

If this had happened to someone else, the Riewers would be there to help, he said

Riewer grew up in Frazee with 12 brothers and sisters He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 1997, the same year he graduated from high school

He was deployed to Bosnia in 2003 and 2004 with Bemidji, Minn, based Company A, 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry before volunteering for a tour of duty in Iraq with his brother, Andy

Riewer received the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart and several other awards Maj. Gen. Rick Erlandson presented the awards to Riewer's parents at the funeral service

Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
April 04, 2007

In The News: 4/5/2007
Small town remembers fallen soldier

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