Mother speaks out about soldier killed

A mid-Michigan soldier killed in Colorado is now home and was greeted with a hero’s welcome.
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 10:27 PM EDT
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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) - A mid-Michigan soldier killed in Colorado is now home and was greeted with a hero’s welcome.

Emergency vehicles and residents with American flags paid their respect to Braden Peltier during a procession from the Detroit Metro Airport to West Branch on Thursday night, April 6.

The Bay City-born soldier was killed in a shooting near a shopping center in Colorado Springs in March. The 23-year-old was an active-duty army specialist stationed at Fort Carson, and he had just returned to the U.S. in December after being deployed in Poland.

Police have not yet confirmed the exact details surrounding the shooting, and the investigation is currently ongoing.

Peltier’s family said he was a character who was well-loved and got along with everyone. His mother, Melissa Samples, said she was overwhelmed by the heart-warming display on Thursday night.

“It has been, I don’t even think amazing is the right word. All the way home from Detroit to West Branch, it was hard to be sad because the amount of people, it was just amazing, just amazing,” Samples said.

Peltier is survived by his wife and son. He would have turned 24 this month.

While the family is still processing the loss, his mother said she has an important message for others.

“Life is too short. I just don’t understand it. Just hug your babies, keep your loved ones close. Is anything else important? Nothing else matters. The other stuff is just filler. Family’s what matters,” Samples said.

Peltier’s mother said police in Colorado have been tight-lipped about what happened. There is a $1,000 being offered for those with information in the case.

Arrangements are being handled by Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch. Visitation is Monday, April 10 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. His funeral will be Tuesday morning, April 11 at 11 a.m.

Peltier will be buried at Rose City Cemetery with full military honors.

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