Hanford solider killed in Iraq laid to rest with military honors

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hanford-native Juan Covarrubias is finally home.

The 27-year-old Army Specialist and two other service members were killed in a rocket attack at Camp Taji in Iraq in mid-March.

Within days of his death, the coronavirus changed the world-putting a temporary stop to return flights for fallen soldiers.

The wait was agonizing for Covarrubias' family.

But on Wednesday, an Angel Flight carrying his remains landed at Visalia's airport, direct from Dover Air Force Base.

Many showed up to pay their respects.

"To just see the support of the community coming together behind them and showing them that we still care about them, we still love them, we still support them, especially in their time of tragedy, that's the most that we can do," said James Landolt of American Warriors of California.

"For me, I love that people are here and I appreciate everything," said Covarrubias' younger brother Daniel. "I just really want to see him and make sure he's okay and he gets the proper burial he deserves."

After landing in Visalia, a large military procession escorted the hearse to a funeral home in Hanford. A viewing and rosary will take place there on Friday.

Covarrubias' funeral and burial, with military honors, will be on Saturday. The young soldier is being laid to rest.

His family says they will always remember him as a caring son, brother, and husband, who died a hero.

"You know my brother wasn't perfect," Daniel Covarrubias said. "But overall, he was just a really good human being."
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