Indiana airman found dead in Italy remembered at funeral

This undated photo provided by Aviano Air Base shows Air Force Staff Sgt. Halex Hale. The U.S. Air Force is searching for Hale, 24, of Middletown, Indiana who is assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, who vanished last week in Italy. (Aviano Air Base via AP)

MIDDLETOWN, Ind. (AP) — Staff Sgt. Halex Hale is being remembered as a fun-loving guy who liked to make people laugh.

A celebration of life was held Wednesday for the U.S. airman in his central Indiana hometown at Middletown Church of the Nazarene. His body was found July 12 in a northern Italy river near Aviano Air Base after he left a party and went missing.

His father, Lance Hale, said the 24-year-old airman “always liked to be the one to make everyone in the crowd laugh and pull pranks. … He always wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time.”

The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin reports about 125 cars participated in a procession to the airman’s final resting place in Mechanicsburg Cemetery, where five generations of Hale men have been buried.

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