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Body of slain soldier Ryane Clark on its way home, arrives in Willmar today

NEW LONDON -- The body of U.S. Army Pfc. Ryane Clark will be escorted today from Willmar to his hometown of New London. The public is encouraged to line the route.

According to Johnson Funeral Home of New London, Clark's body is scheduled to arrive at 12:30 p.m. at Willmar Municipal Airport.

He will be met there by members of Boy Scout Troop 228 of New London, where Clark earned his Eagle Scout rank at 16.

The procession will leave the airport around 1 p.m., head east on Minnesota Highway 40 and then travel the length of Willmar Avenue.

The procession will then turn north onto Kandiyohi County Road 9 at the east edge of Willmar, and will go by the Willmar Senior High School before turning onto state Highway 23. The procession will follow Highway 23 through Spicer and to New London, where it will turn onto Minnesota Highway 9.

The Color Guard from American Legion Post 537 of New London will lead the procession on foot from the Country Stop on Highway 9 to the New London-Spicer Middle School and High School. The entire K-12 grade student body and staff will line the highway to pay tribute to Clark, a 2007 graduate of NLS.

The procession will continue down Highway 9 through downtown New London, where flags have been up since Clark died 10 days ago in Afghanistan.

A visitation is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at NLS High School. Those attending are asked to enter the school at the gymnasium, pay their respects in the rotunda area and then leave through the doors near the district office.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in the gymnasium at NLS High School.

Lunch will be served following the service at Peace Lutheran Church in New London.

Clark died Oct. 4 while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. According to the Department of Defense, he was killed in Shekhabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered during an insurgent attack.