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Soldier from western Massachusetts to be laid to rest Wednesday

Representatives from the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, police and fire department salute toward the casket holding the remains of Jacob Galliher, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant who died during a training exercise. Galliher grew up in Pittsfield.
Alden Bourne
/
NEPM
Representatives from the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, police and fire department salute toward the casket holding the remains of Jacob Galliher, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant who died during a training exercise. Galliher grew up in Pittsfield.

A western Massachusetts soldier who died last month off the coast of Japan will be buried Wednesday.

Air Force Staff Sergeant Jake Galliher died when the Osprey aircraft he was flying in crashed. He was 24 years old and grew up in Pittsfield.

His body arrived at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee last Friday, greeted by emergency responders from the Berkshires, as well as U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Gov. Maura Healey.

Healey said it was important to remember the sacrifices members of the military and their families make, especially during the holidays.

"It's a time of year of a lot of reflection, a lot of celebration. It's a time of year where families typically will gather together and to me it just drives home the fact that there families here in Massachusetts, including the Galliher family, who will have an empty seat around the table," Healey said.

Galliher had a wife and two young children.

A wake is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Tuesday and funeral at 11 a.m. Wednesday — both at St. Agnes Catholic Community in Dalton. A private burial will follow.

“Our hearts are filled with love and loss as we honor our beloved Jacob today and tomorrow," Galliher's family said in a statement. "The way he has been honored since his tragic loss means so much to his family and we know will help his young children better understand the lasting impact their Dad had on everyone he met. We will love and honor Jacob, always.”

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.