Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Scott Heath Sr. holds a photo of Shawn Falter, a Homer soldier who was killed in Iraq.
HOMER — The childhood friend of a soldier slain in Iraq is inviting the public to join him for a memorial service marking the 10-year anniversary of his friend’s death at noon Friday in Glenwood Cemetery.
Homer resident Scott Heath Sr. said Monday afternoon he is planning the memorial service and luncheon in honor of Homer native Shawn Falter, who was killed in 2007 while serving in Iraq.
The event will be held in front of Falter’s grave in the Glenwood Cemetery, and will be open to friends, family and those who simply want to come pay their respects.
The Homer American Legion Post 465 will host a free luncheon for people after the memorial services, where veterans are expected to have rifle salute and moment of silence in remembrance of Falter.
In 2007, Falter was deployed to Karbala, Iraq as a member of the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment. On Jan. 20, 2007, he was shot in the back and killed by gunmen disguised as U.S. soldiers, after he opened the gate he was guarding.
Falter was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and his parents, Cortlandville residents Russell and Linda Falter, started a scholarship at the Homer High School in honor of their son.
Heath said Monday the reason for putting on the event was simple: he wanted to bring together all of the people who knew or grew up with Falter and do something special for his childhood friend to make sure his sacrifice is not forgotten.
“Every single year that passes in January, I never forget Shawn,” Heath said. “The reason was to uphold his memory with friends and family. I wanted to do the event because it’s important.”
Those interested in attending or volunteering with the service can contact the Homer
American Legion Post 465 at 607-749-3133 or send a message to Scott Heath Sr. through his
Facebook page or at 315-317-2303.