DU QUOIN, ILL. - A somber ceremony on this soggy day, as hundreds of mourners paid their final respects to a Southern Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Private First Class Tyler Iublet was laid to rest Wednesday, 11 days after he was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.
During his funeral, he was described as a class clown, a giver, a leader and a hero.
In the driving rain at the graveside service, there was a sea of support, love and reverence for a fallen hero.
Private First Class Tyler Iubelt was just 20. His was a life lost too soon, but lived fully nonetheless.
“He has blessed a lot of people and he's touched a lot of souls, so I'm really proud to have known him,” said Brandi Garza, a close friend of Tyler's mother who says she used to babysit him.
She, like so many others, was devastated to learn he had died in Afghanistan.
“I just balled when my sister told me that that had happened,” she said. “I was like, no, I was in denial.”
Loved ones, friends, even the governor attended the funeral of the young man who enlisted just over a year ago.
Tabitha Kellerman watched from outside.
“I did not know him personally, I just wanted to be here and see this honorable occasion,” said Kellerman. “It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing for this country.”
As deep a loss as this is, Tyler leaves behind a young wife and 6-month-old daughter, an army general who spoke at the funeral said Tyler's life inspires hope for the community and the country that produces people like him.
“I think people need to follow in his footsteps and he left the world a good place, I think,” said Tyler’s cousin, Dylan Hanna.
Recently, Tyler had re-dedicated his life to his Christian faith, even participating in Bible study on his base.
His pastor says that prepared him for the ultimate sacrifice he made.