BERTHOUD, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents placed flags along the streets of Berthoud this week before the return of a hometown soldier’s body.
Spc. Gabriel Conde, a 22-year-old Army specialist, was killed in Afghanistan last month when he was hit by enemy fire.
On Friday his body will be flown from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Northern Colorado Regional Airport in Loveland. A procession will then take place in which Conde’s body will be driven from the airport to Berthoud and then on to Longmont, where his funeral will take place on Saturday afternoon.
People who want to pay tribute are asked to line Mountain Avenue in Berthoud at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
After the funeral at LifeBridge Christian Church on Saturday, a formal military burial will be held in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Monday afternoon.
Conde and his family moved to Berthoud when he was 14 and family and friends say he embraced all that is Colorado, from hiking to hunting.
Dennis Henneberg is among those who placed small American flags on fences and signposts of the town.
“It’s all about him, yeah. And Bob and Donna because, you know I can’t image losing a kid,” Henneberg said on Thursday. “He was so close to coming home. He was going to be coming home in a few weeks when it happened.”
Last week a friend told CBS4 being in the Army suited Conde.
“He was doing great, he was loving his missions, he was going on awesome adventures. He was living the life he wanted to,” Nathan Denesha said.
The family has established the Gabriel David Conde Memorial Fund and are hoping people will donate. Their plan is to support organizations that protect children. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at Howe Mortuary, 439 Coffman St., Longmont, CO 80501 or any First Bank location according to Conde’s obituary.