Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

September 25, 2013

Soldier laid to rest

Neoga residents, family, friends give final salute

NEOGA — “It was horrible.”

That is how Army Staff Sgt. Josh Killion described escorting his friend, Staff Sgt. Randall Lane, home from Afghanistan after his untimely death.

Killion and Lane became friends while serving in the Army National Guard together over the past 15 years. During that time, Killion describes his comrade as a “a model soldier.” Lane served three tours of duty overseas with the Indiana Army National Guard.

“He served his country with honor,” said Killion.

Killion described Lane as “outgoing” and “loyal," adding he was an “outstanding leader.”

Lane died Sept. 13 while serving in Kabul, Afghanistan of a noncombat-related illness. The family has said it was a heart attack likely caused by a blood clot.

The street in front of the First Christian Church in Neoga, where the funeral was held Wednesday, was closed as many saluted the flag-draped coffin following the service.

Patriot Guard, a motorcycle organization that offers support to fallen service men and women, lined the streets, along with other organizations, holding American flags.

After burying his friend, Killion, of Indianapolis, is returning to Afghanistan to finish his tour of duty.

“This has been rough,” he said. 

Lane leaves behind a wife, Gina Lane; stepson, Joshua Phares; and daughters, Abigayle Napier, Ashley Lane and Delahney Lane.

Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 138 or tony.hufffman@effinghamdailynews.com.

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