Southern Ohio Soldier's Body Returns To United States From Afghanistan


An Ohio solider killed in Afghanistan is one step closer to returning home.

Justin Helton, 25, along with four other members of his unit, was killed by friendly fire Tuesday.

A ceremony honoring the fallen troops took place on Thursday in Dover, Delaware.

The town of Beaver, Ohio is now preparing to welcome home the body of Helton. It was not the homecoming anyone expected.

One by one the caskets in Helton's unit were loaded off the back of a military cargo plane in Dover. Each casket, draped in the U.S. flag, was carried off the plane by six soldiers.

Before word of Helton's death spread, the flags in his hometown were flying high. Now, many are at half-staff in memory of the fallen soldier.

Helton was an Explosive Ordnance Detection officer working in southern Afghanistan when the military says his unit was bombed by friendly fire. Those who live in his hometown say the news of his death has left everyone wondering - How could this happen?

"It has taken a big toll. He was serving our country. I'm sure when he comes back the town we'll do a lot to support when the family when he comes back," said Sarah O'Diam.

The military has yet to explain why the friendly fire incident happened.

As for Helton's body, the family says his burial will not happen at Arlington National Cemetery.