La. guardsman receives hero’s burial in Arlington
Louisiana National Guard Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich received a hero’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday after the army made an exception for his burial following lobbying from Florich’s home state Congressional delegation.
Florich, originally from Baton Rouge, was one of four Louisiana Army National Guardsmen killed in a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crash off the coast of Florida on March 10 during a training mission.
But because Florich wasn't listed as on active duty, the Army initially said he couldn’t be buried in Arlington as his family requested.
Fifth District U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, returned to Washington Monday so he could attend the funeral Tuesday morning. Sixth District U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, also attended the ceremony.
“It was very moving; I was honored just to be present,” said Abraham, chairman of the Veterans Affairs subcommittee that oversees Arlington. “It was one of the biggest crowds there in quite a while, and his family was very appreciative.
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