Funeral for slain Alabama soldier draws 1,000

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - About 1,000 mourners attended the funeral of Staff Sgt. Joshua Rath, a 22-year-old described as a "courageous hero" who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Jan. 8.

At his funeral Monday in Decatur, the military presented Rath posthumously with a "special" Purple Heart that includes a "v" for valor and a Bronze Star.

Rath's 12-year-old sister, Julia Rath, spoke during the two-hour service at Calvary Assembly of God, saying her brother would do anything for her, even attend her choral concert during a recent visit home.

She says he would act tough and cool, but she knew his kind, loving side.

Rath was laid to rest with military honors at East Lawrence Cemetery.

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