COLUMBUS, Ind. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of people lined streets in the Indiana hometown of a soldier killed during a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan as his body was taken from the city's airport to a funeral home.

Dozens of soldiers and police officers stood at attention Tuesday while the flag-draped casket of 23-year-old Army Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter of Columbus was transferred from a plane to a hearse. People stood silently, with many holding American flags, in a light rain watching the procession that included more than 200 motorcyclists.

Hunter and 25-year-old Spec. Christopher Harris of Jackson Springs, North Carolina, were killed during an Aug. 2 attack on a NATO convoy. Both were with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Hundreds of Columbus residents lined the streets of the small city to honor their fallen hometown hero. Christy Stackhouse said it was a way to express her gratitude for his service.

"For the sacrifice that he made and the freedom that we take for granted every single day." She said. 

Stackhouse was one of many residents handing out American flags to people lining Washington Street, the end of the procession route. 

Hunter's family friend Keenan Noel said Hunter was the "funny guy" and that everyone who knew him loved him. He found out about his childhood friend's death and couldn't believe it. 

"To get news like that, you know, it's devastating," Noel said. "He was young, and he was full of life." 

Hunter's aunt Wanda Lundsford said her nephew loved serving his country. She said he tried several other career paths after graduating high school then settled on the army.

"It was his thing," She said. 

Lundsford said her family was proud that Hunter was solider. She said he was happy person with a bright personality. 

"He always had a smile on his face. He was very joyful in everything he did," Lundsford said. "He was God-loving. He did so many things for other people." 

Hunter's memorial service is set for Aug. 26 at Columbus East High School.

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