FOWLER, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of veterans from Oregon brought their summer tour across the country to Trumbull County on Thursday to honor a fallen soldier.
They’re going to take his memory with them on their trip to Washington, D.C as part of the Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Motorcycle ride. They also honored 70 other service members.
One family, whose son died last May, appreciated the decision to honor the life of army specialist Justin Mangus.
“The thought these people came all the way from Eugene, Oregon, clear across the United States to honor us here in our small home, here in Fowler, is just absolutely incredible,” said Justin’s mother, Paula Mangus.
It was an emotional scene when an RV and over 20 motorcycles arrived on the road in front of the family’s home.
“Of course, tears were flowing. It was just a very incredible, heartwarming, overwhelming feeling,” Mangus said.
The tour didn’t originally plan on passing through northeastern Ohio, but worked in a stop to honor Mangus.
“They actually were not coming this way. They were supposed to go from Columbus to Pittsburgh, and he decided to change their route just to come all the way to Fowler,” Mangus said.
Mangus’ mother knows her son would also have been honored by the group’s gesture.
“I can’t think of a better group of people than these people are for doing what they do, year after year, so thank you. I know that my son is looking down from heaven with a smile on his face,” Mangus said.
The tribute ride will finish at Arlington National Cemetery, where the torch will be extinguished next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in August.