Body of Crown Point soldier comes home
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com July 25, 2012 2:13PM
Members of the Indiana Honor Guard move the body of Spc. Sergio E. Perez into Burns Funeral Home in Crown Point while family and friends observe on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2012 11:10AM
GARY — Indiana Patriot Guard riders and local law enforcement escorted the body of Spc. Sergio Eduardo Perez Jr. to Burns Funeral Home in Crown Point after his flight landed Wednesday morning at Gary/Chicago International Airport.
Crown Point resident Perez, 21, was killed on July 16 in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, when rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire hit the vehicle he was in with Spc. Nicholas Andrew Taylor of Berne, Ind. Perez and Taylor, who was also killed, were part of the 713th Engineer Company of the Indiana Army National Guard, which is a bomb-clearing unit.
Around 8:40 a.m., a plane carrying Perez’s body arrived at the airport, where services were held. About an hour later, the procession of mourners proceeded onto Cline Avenue and headed south to Crown Point.
Law enforcement officers from several local departments exited their cars on 101st Avenue in Crown Point to pay respects to the fallen soldier. Nearly 60 Patriot Guard riders pulled into the Burns Funeral Home parking lot and they formed a circle around the back entrance as pallbearers carried the casket inside and mourners entered.
Perez’s visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. at Burns Funeral Home, located at 10101 Broadway in Crown Point. His funeral mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Consolation, located at 8303 Taft St. in Merrillville.
Perez was a 2010 graduate of Lake Central High School and he enlisted later that year. He is survived by his parents — Sergio E. Perez Sr. of East Chicago and Veronica Orozco of Crown Point — and sisters Candice Perez, Andrea Jimenez, and Karyme Jimenez. While Perez was deployed, he was promoted to the rank of specialist in April.
The wife of one of the Patriot Guard riders held an American flag at the corner of Broadway and 101st Avenue as the procession arrived.
“I usually ride along with them,” said the woman, who didn’t give her name. “I wanted to show support.”