Vermont Soldier Is Laid To Rest

09/01/10 5:50PM By Amy Kolb Noyes

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

(Host) Sergeant Tristan Southworth was laid to rest Wednesday in Hardwick, near his hometown of Walden.

Southworth died in a firefight in Afghanistan on August 22nd alongside another Vermont Guard member - Sergeant Steven DeLuzio.

Southworth was 21 years old.

A line of 1,100 mourners snaked around Hazen Union School in the midday sun, waiting for the service to start. Once inside, the crowd filled the gymnasium beyond capacity.

Southworth grew up in Walden and graduated from Hazen Union. In addition to the many uniform-clad soldiers in attendance, several former teammates wore Hazen sports uniforms in Southworth's memory.

Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Calvin Kemp presided over the service.  He said sports and competition were important to Tristian Southworth.

(Kemp) "Tristan's life was a life of striving always to excel. It happened over and over, right here. He took the gifts of the Lord and he gave it a go. He was extremely competitive, but being competitive for him was not about the win. And it was not just about defeating another, but to use all that God had given to him for others. And that was his victory."

(Host) Southworth joined the National Guard in 2006, a year before he graduated from Hazen.

Chaplain Kemp says Southworth was committed to the ideals of the military as he left for Afghanistan this spring.

(Kemp) "And he went into another land that he didn't even know because he wanted to help those people and he wanted to bring them to victory."

(Host) Several dignitaries were in attendance at the funeral. Vermont Adjutant General Michael Dubie presented the Southworth family with military honors, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Governor Douglas awarded the family a Vermont Patriot's Medal.

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tristan_southworth vermont_national_guard afghanistan politics
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