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Fallen hero welcomed home

Chaplain (Capt.) John Choi, 6th Air Mobility Wing, walks with the parents of Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and Brenda Gordon after greeting the remains of Spc. Gordon, 24, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon suffered fatal wounds on Oct. 13 in Kandahar Afghanistan after enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd  Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shandresha Mitchell/Released)

Chaplain (Capt.) John Choi, 6th Air Mobility Wing, walks with the parents of Army Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and Brenda Gordon after greeting the remains of Spc. Gordon, 24, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon suffered fatal wounds on Oct. 13 in Kandahar Afghanistan after enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shandresha Mitchell/Released)

The remains of Spc. Brittany B. Gordon are carried by Army honor guardsmen to a hearse at MacDill Air Force Base Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon died from wounds suffered by an attack with an improvised explosive device on Oct. 13 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, she was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melanie Bulow-Kelly/Released)

The remains of Spc. Brittany B. Gordon are carried by Army honor guardsmen to a hearse at MacDill Air Force Base Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon died from wounds suffered by an attack with an improvised explosive device on Oct. 13 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, she was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melanie Bulow-Kelly/Released)

Kimberly Wozunk, Brookdale Senior Living director of life enrichment, pays her respects as the funeral procession for Spc. Brittany B. Gordon passes on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon, a native of St. Petersburg Fla., died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Tracy)

Kimberly Wozunk, Brookdale Senior Living director of life enrichment, pays her respects as the funeral procession for Spc. Brittany B. Gordon passes on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon, a native of St. Petersburg Fla., died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class David Tracy)

Hillsborough County Sheriff's department motorcade escort Spc. Brittany B. Gordon’s procession off of MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., while service member and civilians pay their respects by lining the streets Oct 24, 2012. Gordon died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz/Released)

Hillsborough County Sheriff's department motorcade escort Spc. Brittany B. Gordon’s procession off of MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., while service member and civilians pay their respects by lining the streets Oct 24, 2012. Gordon died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Gordon was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz/Released)

Members of team MacDill render salutes as the remains of Spc. Brittany B. Gordon arrive at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon died on Oct. 13 due to wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adam Grant/Released)

Members of team MacDill render salutes as the remains of Spc. Brittany B. Gordon arrive at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Oct. 24, 2012. Gordon died on Oct. 13 due to wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adam Grant/Released)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla-- -- Hundreds of Team MacDill members and the local community lined the streets to honor a fallen comrade and local hero, Oct. 24.

The remains of Army Spc. Brittany Gordon were welcomed with salutes from sister services and veterans both past and present.

Gordon, 24, was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. She was a native of St. Petersburg. Gordon died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device.

Gordon was the first female Soldier from the local community to die during Operation Enduring Freedom; she graduated high school in 2006 from St. Petersburg High School.

"Female service members are often expected to serve out of harm's way," said Staff Sgt. Nicole Sommersville, 6th Air Mobility Wing ground safety craftsman.

"The unfortunate and untimely death of Gordon is a reminder that we serve beside our male counterparts both at home and in war; it's also a reminder that were not safer based on our gender compared to our service brothers. I thank her for her service and wish her family and friend's peace and understanding," Sommersville said.

There are 13,000 service members assigned here, Gordon was the fourth fallen hero Team MacDill has paid respects to since January. During the brief observance, service members both past and present, expressed their sincere condolences while watching the dignified transfer.

According to reports from the Department of Defense, 20,000 of the 205,000 service members currently serving in Afghanistan are women. As of February, 144 military women have been killed and 865 wounded in both combat and noncombat incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's a harsh reality that all military members train and serve, but to know that it was a woman, touches home," said Susan Monson, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander's executive assistant.

Gordon is survived by her mother Brenda Gordon and father Cedric Gordon, the St. Petersburg assistant police chief.