Meridian soldier's remains arrive in Boise [w/video]

May 15, 2013 

A Meridian soldier killed in Afghanistan early this month was a “class clown” who believed he was doing good overseas, according to his brother.

The body of U.S. Army Spc. Thomas Paige Murach, 22, was transferred to his family Wednesday afternoon.

Murach’s parents, three brothers and other family members gathered around the flag-draped casket before an honor guard carried it to a waiting hearse.

The soldier’s body was flown to Idaho from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Murach was killed near Maiwand, Afghanistan, when the vehicle he was in hit a roadside bomb. Four other U.S. soldiers also died in the attack.

Murach is the 69th Idahoan to die in the wars following 9/11.

His brother, Nick Murach, said the soldier’s sense of humor was his defining trait. Thomas Murach truly wanted to help the people of Afghanistan and believed in the Army’s mission, Nick said.

“We take great comfort from how Tom lived his life over there,” Nick said.

After 10 days of waiting, Nick Murach said he felt relief when he touched his brother’s casket.

“It has been hard,” he said. “There was a great sense of peace for me knowing Tom was at home.”

Murach’s family sent a box from home every week, and he always shared the snacks and other gifts with the men deployed with him, Nick Murach said.

Nick said that some of Thomas’ fellow soldiers have reached out to the family. One told them that he often shared his faith with the members of his platoon, and even led a Bible study during his deployment.

“His platoon looked to him as a spiritual leader,” Nick said. “That provides great comfort to our family.”

More than 100 airmen and soldiers from the Idaho National Guard gathered to watch the transfer ceremony.

Thomas Murach joined the Army in August 2010, having come from a military family. His father spent 20 years in the military, his mother three and an older brother six, Nick Murach said.

His mother, Mary Murach, had spoken to him a week before he was killed, Nick said.

“He encouraged our family just by hearing his tone of voice,” Nick Murach said.

Thomas Murach will be laid to rest Monday at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. A public memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at the Capital Christian Center, 2760 E. Fairview Ave. in Meridian.

Katie Terhune: 377-6219

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