Lebanon soldier laid to rest

Community honors fallen Lebanon soldier

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Funeral services were held Tuesday for a Lebanon soldier killed in the line of duty.

U.S. Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Estle, 38, died Saturday, July 28 in Afghanistan.

Services were held Tuesday at Cornerstone Church of God. Burial with full military honors followed at Deerfield Cemetery in South Lebanon.

The Ohio Patriot Guard Riders led the procession in Lebanon Monday for Estle.

"It's very difficult to do this and it was very difficult to bring him home yesterday," rider Mike Hamilton of the Patriot Guard said. "To see the folks standing out alongside the streets, basically little kids with American flags, it gives us a lot of hope in our country and it's just and honor to see these people out there."

Estle is survived by his wife and three children.

Hundreds of community members, friends and family filled the parking at Cornerstone Church of God, some even strangers wanting to pay respect to his service.

"Sgt. Estle is one of us, we're all veterans of foreign conflicts, this is what we do," said Scott Reisiger of Lebanon VFW Post 6069. "We support our troops."

Estle was described as the rock of his platoon where he served as platoon commander.

"Sgt. Estle was a true inspiration," said Cpt. Andrejs Kukainas who served with Estle in Afghanistan.

"Soldiers followed him because they wanted to follow him not because they had to."

Estle's father-in-law Richard Marston told FOX19 the military man had moved his family back to the Tri-state area from New York within the last year.

"He said 'I don't think I'm going to make it back on this next tour,'" Marston recalled of a conversation Estle had with his wife.

He says despite all of the worry underneath, his wife would not acknowledge the possibility of losing the family soldier.

"She just said 'Bobby, you make it home, you come home' and he said 'When I do, will you hand me a big pot of sausage gravy?' And she said 'Yeah, yeah,'" Marston recalled, chocking up. "He was just a good man."

Family members say Sgt. First Class Bobby Estle was shot in the abdomen while serving his fourth tour of duty.

They also say Estle was only 10 days away from a planned trip home as a short break during his tour.

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