Soldier's body returns to Mid-Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Soldier's body returns to Mid-Michigan

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It was a somber homecoming at Huron County Memorial Airport.

Members of the community, like Mark Martinez, showed up to pay their respects to Army Private First Class Brian Backus. 

Backus died more than a week ago from injuries he received in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan.

"I'm coming out here to stand in the warm weather to support him and his family," Martinez told TV5.

The 21-year-old Backus was a combat medic who grew up in Harbor Beach.

He was president of his class at Harbor Beach High School in 2008.

"To me they're the real men and women, they show freedom and bravery to do what they do," says Martinez.

"This is the reason why we are able to live the way we live," says Christine Braun, who came out to show her support for Backus.

Though his flag-draped casket is a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, people like Mark Martinez, stand grateful of Backus' dedication to his country.

"Just something I felt I needed to do and I brought my kids out to show them there is nothing wrong with supporting somebody who did something for you. It's the least we could do," says Martinez.

"We're just so grateful, that our country is the way it is. That we're allowed to do whatever we want and if it wasn't for people like him, it wouldn't be," says Braun.

Backus' funeral will be Thursday at Harbor Beach High School.

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