Thousands of persons lined 151st Street on Aug. 16, waving flags and holding signs in support of Spencer Colson Duncan as a motorcade carried his body from New Century AirCenter to an Olathe funeral home.
Duncan, a 21-year-old Army specialist from Olathe, was among 30 American soldiers killed on Aug. 6 when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan.
Police blocked of a large section of 151st Street for the procession, which was led by police officers on motorcycles.
Members of the Patriot Riders motorcycle group followed the hearse containing Duncan’s body for the duration of the procession.
Those who came to pay their respects held signs that read “Stand for Spencer” and dressed in patriotic colors.
Gov. Sam Brownback ordered flags lowered on Aug. 18 in honor of Duncan.
“SPC Duncan is a hero in the hearts of his fellow Kansans,” Brownback said. “Kansans are bereaved for the men and women we have lost and are deeply grateful and humbled by their service to our country.”
Duncun, a lifelong Johnson Countian, was born in Merriam and graduated from Olathe South High School in 2008.
He enlisted in the United States Army Reserves after graduating from high school and received basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. and advanced individual training in medium helicopter repair at Fort Eustis, Va.
Duncan worked at New Century AirCenter near Gardner as an aircraft mechanic at the Aviation Support Facility.
He later trained to become a Chinook door gunner.
Duncan was deployed oversees last March to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Funeral services were held Aug. 18. Donations in Duncan’s memory can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.
Other Kansas City metro servicemen killed in the ambush included Alexander Bennett, 23, of Olathe; Matt Mason, 37, of the Kearney area; and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols, 31, of Kansas City.
Bennett served as a flight engineer and door gunner.
Mason was a member of the Navy SEAL team traveling in the helicopter.
Nichols was a helicopter pilot who had been serving in Afghanistan for two months.
The area soldiers were among 25 American special operations forces, five Army aircrew members, seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter killed in the attack.