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Community comes together to pay respect to fallen soldier

Hundreds came out early Wednesday morning to the town of Bicknell to honor 1st Lt. Cullen.

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 4:51 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 6:13 PM

BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) -  Our community continues to honor a fallen soldier and hero.

First Lieutenant Clayton Cullen died during a military exercise in California.

He was just 25-years-old.

On Wednesday, many welcomed 1st Lt. Cullen home.

It started in Indianapolis and ended in his hometown of Bicknell.

Hundreds came out early Wednesday morning to the town of Bicknell to honor 1st Lt. Cullen.

He was family or a friend to many people, but those that knew him say it wasn't about who he was, it was about how he served.

In Bicknell, people call him Clay, and if you asked anyone what he was like...you're likely to hear a similar answer.

"He was always kind, helpful..he was the funny guy in school." Samantha Smith, one of Clayton's friends said.

"He'll always be remembered for his kindness and his loyalty to everything he was involved in." Susan Pearman Bays, one of Clayton's teachers told us.

That's why so many people turned out Wednesday morning.

Cullen graduated from North Knox High School.

While there, he was heavily involved in sports and academics.

Not long after that, he joined the United States Army.

"We're so grateful for his service to our country, we appreciate his sacrifice, and we've come today in honor and respect for him. For all of his family," Bays said.

There were many on hand who never met Cullen, but everyone lining the route wanted to show their love and support for a man who lived his life serving others.

"Anybody who puts on that uniform and signs that dotted line, in my opinion, that takes guts, courage, Clay is a hero...he is a hero, that's for sure," Smith said.

The community came together to honor a hero who made an impact on so many people's lives.

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