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Escort Set This Morning for Fallen Bloomingdale Soldier

An escort will travel through Brandon to Serenity Meadows, 6919 Providence Road., Riverview.

Area residents will have a chance to pay their respects to 1st Lt. Ivan Lechowich today, Oct. 13, during a Fallen Hero Escort, which will take the soldier’s coffin along local roadways. His remains will arrive at MacDill Air Force Base at 9 a.m. and the escort will begin at around 9:45 a.m.

Lechowich, who worked with a specialized team charged with clearing improvised explosive devices (IED) from roads in Afghanistan, when his vehicle drove over an IED.

"He was doing the hardest thing in the hardest place, and wouldn't have had it any other way," said Lechowich's father, Rick, at the family's home in Bloomingdale East.

Residents are invited to pay tribute by lining up along the route.

From Brandon, the route is:

  • East on State Road 60
  • South on Kings Avenue
  • West on Lumsden Road
  • South on Providence road to Serenity Meadows, 6919 Providence Road., Riverview.

The family will receive friends at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico, Friday, Oct. 14, from 2-4 p.m. and from 7:30-9 p.m. A wake service will be held at 8:30 p.m.

A Mass will take place at St. Stephen Saturday at noon. Burial will follow at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park, Riverview.

Ivan Lechowich joins a long list of area military personnel who have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The state of California has paid the highest toll in the number of U.S.  service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Texas and  Florida ranking second and third, according to the “Faces of the Fallen” database maintained by The Washington Post.

Among those soldier with local connections are:

BRANDON

  • Spec. Marc A. Anderson / Age: 30 / Died: March 4, 2002 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga.
  • Spec. Alexis Roman-Cruz /  Age: 33 / Died: Nov. 16, 2005 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 1st  Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort  Campbell, Ky.

HILLSBOROUGH

  • Lance Spl. Antonio J. Sledd / Age: 20 / Died: Oct. 8, 2002 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Marines,  Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary  Unit, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

LITHIA

  • Pfc. Marc A. Delgado / Age: 21 / Died: Nov. 24, 2005 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 170th  Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military  Police Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.

PLANT CITY

  • Pfc. Paul O. Cuzzupe / Age: 23 / Died: Aug. 8, 2010 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army, 3rd  Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment, Vilseck, Germany
  • Lance Cpl. Ronald D. Freeman / Age: 25 / Died: April 28, 2011 / Operation Enduring Freedom /  Marines, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine  Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Pct. Jody W. Missildine / Age: 19 / Died: April 8, 2006 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 2nd  Battalion, 37th Armed Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division,  Friedberg, Germany
  • Lance Cpl. James R. Phillips / Age: 21 / Died: Dec. 23, 2004 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Marines,  3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine  Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
  • Lt. Col. Peter E. Winston / Age: 56 / Died: Nov. 13, 2006 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 143rd Sustainment Command, Orlando, Fla.

RUSKIN

  • Spec. David A. Hess / Age: 25 / Died: Oct. 10, 2010 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army,  526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne  Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
  • Pfc. Cody J. Orr / Age: 21 / Died: Jan. 17. 2004 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 2nd  Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort  Hood, Tex.

SEFFNER

  • Sgt. 1st Class Jason J. Fabrizi / Age: 29 / Died: July 14, 2009 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army,  3rd Squadron, 61st Calvary Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th  Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Staff Sgt. Michael D. Thomas / Age: 34 / Died: April 27, 2007 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.

TAMPA

  • Pfc. Roberto C. Baez / Age: 19 / Died: Oct. 3, 2005 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 3rd  Batallion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division,  Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • Pfc. Joshua D. Brown / Age: 26 / Died: June 3, 2007 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 1st  Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry  Division, Schweinfurt, Germany
  • Staff Sgt. Wilbert Davis /  Age: 40 / Died: April 3, 2003 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 3rd  Battalion, 69th Armor, 3rd Army Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Fuerst III / Age: 26 / Died: June 24 2006 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army  National Guard, 53rd Infantry Brigade, Army National Guard, Pinellas  Park, Fla.
  • Cpt. Aaron M. Griner / Age: 24 / Died: June 28, 2006 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army,  2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th  Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.
  • Staff Sgt. John L. Hartman Jr. /  Age: 39 / Died: Nov. 30, 2006 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 1st  Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd  Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
  • Sgt. 1st Class David A. Heringes / Age: 36 / Died: Aug. 24, 2007 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 1st  Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,  82nd Airborn Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • Spec. Eric N. Lembke / Age: 25 / Died: Oct. 23, 2009 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Army,  569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort  Carson, Colo.
  • Sgt. Bryan C. Luckey / Age: 25 / Died: June 29, 2006 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 562nd  Engineer Company, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright,  Alaska
  • Staff Sgt. Michael B. Quinn / Age: 37 / Died: May 27, 2003 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith / Age: 33 / Died: April 4, 2003 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 11th  Engineer Battalion, 3rd Army Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
  • Sgt. Antwan L. Walker /  Age: 22 / Died: May 18, 2005 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Army, 2nd  Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wilt / Age: 23 / Died: Sept. 3, 2004 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Marines,  1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine  Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine  Palms, Calif.
  • Lance Cpl. Kevin G. Waruinge / Age: 22 / Died: Aug. 3, 2005 / Operation Iraqi Freedom / Marine  Reserves, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine  Corps Reserve, Gulfport, Miss.

THONOTOSASSA

  • Sgt. Daniel M. Angus / Age: 28 / Died: Jan. 24, 2010 / Operation Enduring Freedom / Marines,  1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine  Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

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