Soldier Memorial

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About 500 people packed the Presbyterian Church in Valentine Tuesday to attend funeral services for fallen National Guardsman Dennis Morgan.

Some people who could not find seats in the church chose to sit outside during the ceremony.

The 22-year-old specialist in the South Dakota National Guard was killed in Iraq on April 17. The former Winner, South Dakota, resident lived in Valentine with his wife, Cassie. The couple was married in November, just before he deployed.

During the ceremony, Pastor Wes Hitchcock read a letter of condolence written by Congressman Tom Osborne to Morgan's family.

Several high-ranking military officers, including Commander of the South Dakota National Guard Major General Mike Gorman, were part of the overflow crowd.

About 25 members of the Valentine Fire Department also were on hand to pay tribute to Morgan.

Following the ceremony, Morgan's body was to be transported to the Black Hill National Cemetery in Sturgis, South Dakota, for burial.