Grieving community pays respects to Heartland hero

A grieving community gathered early Wednesday evening to pay their respects to a Heartland hero and his family.

Wednesday night was another night filled with sorrow and sadness for the city of Milan as they prepare to say goodbye to their Heartland hero.

Hundreds of people came to Milan Christian Church Wednesday evening for the visitation for Private First Class Jonathon Hostetter, 20.

Hostetter was a soldier in the United States Army serving in Afghanistan where he was killed in action on August 23.

In addition to the dozens of family members, friends and community members who attended, members of the Patriot Guard Riders were also there to honor and pay their respects to this young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"That's what we're here for to show honor and respect to the solider and his family. People have really come out to show their support," said Macon area Patriot Riders Captain, Doug Yearns.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Milan Christian Church followed by the burial at White Oak Cemetery.

Volunteers Wednesday evening were busy putting about 2,200 American flags along the route from the church to the cemetery to show how much this solider and hero meant to this community and how much he will be missed.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff statewide on Thursday in honor of Hostetter.

Milan schools are dismissing at 11:45 a.m. Thursday to allow students and staff to attend the funeral.