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Utah soldier returns home for final rest

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Dec 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-19 00:25:11-05

ALPINE, Utah -- A soldier from Alpine returned home for the last time on Wednesday night.

Army Staff Sergeant Landon Henscheid, 24, received a dignified transfer to Salt Lake International Airport, where his family, friends and fellow servicemen crowded into a cargo wing to pay their respects.

Henscheid survived two tours in Afghanistan, but it was a hard fought battle with cancer that claimed his life on December 7, Pearl Harbor Day.

A casket adorned with a flag was surrounded by Henscheid’s siblings, parents and friends who said his strength over the last few years was inspiring to watch.

"He really showed us how to live without fear and how to die without fear because he just faced it," his father Don Henscheid said. "He faced death with the same courage he faced life. And he knew it was time to let go and finally he just let go. And that kind of courage is rare."

Prior to being diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma cancer in his spine, Henscheid was injured in Afghanistan in 2012. Doctors told him he would likely never walk again, but his family said Henscheid ignored the prognosis and fought to overcome. He took the same view when he learned his cancer had returned in August, after being in remission for two months.

A viewing is scheduled for Thursday, December 19 between 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Warenski Funeral Home in American Fork. A second is scheduled for Friday, December 20 between 9:30-10:30 a.m. at High Bench Chapel in Alpine, UT.