An oversized American flag flew at half-staff as the body of Army Staff Sgt. Dain Venne was escorted through downtown Port Henry for a final time.
"You hurt one of us, you hurt us all. So, I am here to be supportive," said Karen Kelly of Ticonderoga.
Venne, 29, made the ultimate sacrifice earlier this month. He and two others were killed as the men cleared roadside bombs in Afghanistan. Venne actually had an opportunity to be home that weekend on leave, but opted to remain overseas to help train his fellow soldiers.
"Sometimes it's hard to people who haven't been there and haven't had to deal with war, but a guy like Sgt. Venne, he wanted to be there with his soldiers to make sure they had the training to survive," U.S. Army Capt. Daniel McCarthy said.
Hundreds of family, friends and complete strangers turned out to say a final goodbye to Venne. Once the church where the service was held was filled, the overflow crowd watched it at another church in town via the internet.
After the hour long service, it was one final trip past Moriah High School, where Venne was an all state running back. Current players raised their helmets to honor the fallen soldier.
At the burial site, Venne was laid to rest with full military honors in front of the community he cared so much about. He volunteered at the school, coached and refereed youth football programs, and was a lifesaving firefighter.
In his short 29 years, Sgt. Venne made a huge impact on his community; a community that will never forget his sacrifice.
"It's unbelievably tragic," McCarthy said. "But he was a soldier's soldier. That's why people looked up to him."
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