Dec 20, 2015 10:46 AM
DOVER - Flags flew at half-staff around the state on Saturday as hundreds of people gathered to remember Andrew Aimesbury - a U.S. Army Ranger and hometown hero who died in a training exercise last week.
"Look what he became… He’s the strongest man and I am so proud of him and what he did for this country," said Louise Juneau-Kurylak, who attended the services at Dover Baptist Church.
"Andrew was my first boyfriend and my best friend. And I’ll always remember him as that," said Jessica Kurylak as she struggled through tears.
Aimesbury was training with his squad at Fort Steward last week when he was wounded during a live fire exercise. He later died of those injuries. He was 21 years old, but inspired many during his short life.
"He is the reason why I teach," said Siobhan Mehalek, who had Aimesbury as a student years ago. "When he went into the Army, I was so proud that they sent his picture to me and I’ve had it up in my classroom ever since. When he graduated 8th grade, I said to his mom: some day Andrew is going to do something and you and I are going to be like we’re so proud of him and we knew him when, and I really think him being an Army Ranger was that moment."
Aimesbury served as an Army Ranger for more than two years, serving one tour of duty in Afghanistan and becoming a Ranter team leader at the Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.
"He touched my heart and I’ll always love him. He’s always in my heart and he’s always gonna be there," his former girlfriend, Jessica Kurylak, said.
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