Northeast Ohio prepares for return of Navy Hospital Corpsman killed in Afghanistan

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:34 PM EDT
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BERLIN HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - A community has prepared to honor a fallen man who served our country.

On Wednesday, the body of Northeast Ohio, Max Soviak comes home. Soviak was a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy.

Soviak was one of 13 killed in the recent suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Northeast Ohio prepares for return of Navy Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak

The body of Navy Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak will arrive this morning at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Damon Maloney and Shannon Smith have more information about what's being done to honor Soviak today.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

“You really don’t think too much about it until it hits this close to home,” said Gary Gilbert, the owner of Gilhuly’s Pub & Grille.

As people drive through Berlin Heights, they will come across countless American Flags lining the streets.

The flags are a sign that the community is ready to welcome home Soviak to his final resting place.

“There are signs in people’s yards, ‘God bless Max’,” said Gilbert. “Our community had rallied like I never seen before. The first thing we noticed was GoFundMe went ballistic with money raised to help their family which is a large-sized family.”

Gilbert has seen firsthand the overwhelming support the fallen have received.

“The veterans in our area have stepped up.

In fact, this table here was created with a local veteran coming in, and making sure that every person that sacrificed their life, was represented here,” said Gilbert. “There is a donation jar and I think that’s been emptied two or three times since this happened to give to the family. What I envision is people coming out of their houses and lining up the streets.”

Soviak’s remains will arrive tomorrow morning at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. From there a procession will take place ending in Berlin Heights, Soviak’s hometown.

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