Hundreds said goodbye to a beloved air national guardsmen Saturday morning.
Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring.
He was a fighter pilot with the 144th fighter wing based in Fresno, California.
Nehring was killed last month in the Ukraine in a plane crash during a training exercise.
Not only was Nehring a fighter pilot out of Fresno, but he also worked for Southwest Airlines.
And after four weeks since his passing, that very company helped bring him home to a hero’s service.
“Today we say goodbye to a son, a patriot and air national guardsmen,” says Daniel Kelly, commander with the 144th fighter wing.
Hundreds waiting on the tarmac watched on as fellow airmen honored their friend.
“It’s very sad for us to lose one of our own,” Kelly said.
Another friend remembered him.
“Although I miss him, I take heart in that everyone that’s here in uniform will continue to follow that example and there’s good in that,” says Clay Garrison, a commander of California Air National Guard.
As fellow airmen escorted Nehring to his final resting place, a salute of old glory lined the streets.
Friends say while they’re saddened by his death, they take comfort in the support from the Valley community and around the world.
Garrison says, “He was really able to connect with a lot of people and small groups and all the deployments and its that relationship that he was able to build that really made him a huge part of the guard family here.”