Paying Tribute to Airman 1st Class Shannon Purcell

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FORTY FORT -- Friends, family, and loved ones said their goodbyes to the 19-year-old airman who lost her life serving in Japan.

Family and friends say Shannon Purcell was a woman so full of life who was just taken way too soon.

Hundreds lined the streets in Luzerne County to honor her spirit, with local motorcyclists from veterans' groups led her funeral procession.

"It's very tragic. She died way too young," said Rob Neyhard of Forty Fort. "But look what the community did, the community did not forget her, obviously. She was well known in the community because of graduating from Valley West."

The 2016 Wyoming Valley West graduate died in an accidental fall at a waterfall in Japan while on active duty in the Air Force.

Close friends say she was extremely active in the community.

"It's the community coming out and honoring this young veteran who unfortunately died way too early," Neyhard added. "I've never seen anything like this before."

An Air Force honor guard carried her flag-draped casket out of the funeral home in Forty Fort. Motorcycle riders from veterans groups led a procession to St. Mary's Cemetery in Hanover Township.

Family and friends say she'll be remembered for the loving woman she was, and even total strangers were moved to tears by Purcell's service and selflessness.

"She was a good person," said James Dommes of Glen Lyon. Dommes never met Purcell personally, but was compelled to pay his respects for her 'selfless devotion.' "I mean, a lot of people don't want to go into the military anymore. They don't want nothing to do with it."



  • nobody else will say it so i will

    I’ll get all thumbs down but I have to ask this one question. If she was an average looking male airman, would she have recieved this much attention? I think not. We have male Pennsylvania soldiers who die in battle that don’t even get as much as a backpage sentence.

    • You are missing the point.

      Why is there hate on a post like this? Shannon isn’t just getting attention because of her looks or gender. She truly was special. You didn’t have to be close friends with her for her to have a big impact on your life. She was so nice, funny, and full of laughter. I agree that all of out veterans deserve a lot of credit. But you gotta understand Shannon was cared about by so many, and that’s not me saying the other veterans aren’t. There are deaths in the service all the time that don’t get nearly as much recognition but that’s not because of her appearance like i said. There were so many reasons beyond that. Shannon was beyond a pretty face. She was special and did not deserve to lose her life this soon. You can believe what you want but I myself am so happy that she was honored in the way she was. Rest In Paradise Shannon.

      • EDIT

        Edit: How about you ask the family and friends if they think the only reason Shannon is getting attention is because she was a beautiful female.

  • magicmikexxsm

    R.I.P Shannon Purcell, and thank you for your service…….
    A message to God…..
    God why did you take this poor girls life? this beautiful young women full of life playing by the rules had everything ahead of her, but you forsaken her…..where were her guardian angles? why didn’t they protect this poor child….

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