More than a thousand people gathered this afternoon to remember a fallen soldier from Sparks. Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn was killed along with four others on September 25th, when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
Friends, family, and community members who didn’t even know Flynn packed Summit Christian Church in Sparks, where Monday's memorial was held. The tribute began with a two hour service inside the church. Flynn's casket was escorted inside to the tune of Amazing Grace played on a Bagpipe. Then friends and family members shared stories of his life, describing Flynn as a true patriot who died for a cause he believed in.
An uncle said Flynn always wanted to be a pilot and talked about flying a helicopter even as a child. Right after high school, Flynn enlisted in the guard, and became a pilot with a stellar reputation as many of his comrades said today. In 1991, he married Christie and they had two children, 7-year-old Hannah and 5-year-old Benjamin.
The tribute to 36-year-old Flynn continued outdoors with military honors. He was awarded the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star Medal, and an Air Medal.
The ceremony continued with a 21 Gun Salute, and a flyover with three helicopters. The Chinook helicopter, which hovered over the crowed, had the words "Bye John" painted underneath it.