Funeral is today for fallen soldier from OliviaBIRD ISLAND — Family and friends will gather at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island today to say their final farewells to Spc. James Wertish, who died July 16 in a missile attack near Basra in southern Iraq.
By: From staff and AP reports, West Central Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
BIRD ISLAND — Family and friends will gather at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island today to say their final farewells to Spc. James Wertish, who died July 16 in a missile attack near Basra in southern Iraq.
Wertish, 20, was assigned to the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division, of the Minnesota National Guard, based in Stillwater.
His body arrived Thursday in his home town of Olivia, escorted by an honor guard.
The funeral is at 11 a.m. today. Visitation will take place at the church for one hour before the service. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery in Olivia.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has ordered flags lowered today in honor of Wertish.
He was one of three Minnesota soldiers with the National Guard who died in the attack. Also killed were Spc. Daniel Drevnick, 22, of Woodbury, and Spc. Carlos E. Wilcox IV, 27, of Cottage Grove. Spc. Jacob Benson, 22, of Willmar was injured in the attack. He was hospitalized in Kuwait for three days with shrapnel wounds, bruises and a concussion before returning to the military base in Basra.
Memorials for Wertish may be sent to the Spc. James Wertish Memorial Fund in care of MinnWest Bank in Danube.
Cards and flowers for his family may be sent to his parents, David and Kim Wertish, 30686 770th Ave., Olivia, MN 56277.
The service for Drevnick was Saturday.
The funeral for Wilcox is scheduled Tuesday in Louisville, Ky. Pawlenty will later order flags lowered in Wilcox’s memory