Memorial dedicated in Berkley for SSG Matthew Leach - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Memorial dedicated in Berkley for SSG Matthew Leach

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BERKLEY, Mich. (WJBK) -

It was a picture perfect day to remember a hero. A crowd gathered in Berkley Saturday to honor SSG Matthew Leach, a local husband and father who died serving our country.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky or a dry eye in the crowd during the dedication ceremony outside the American Legion in Berkley. The group gathered to honor the Army Staff Sgt. who died June 26, 2012 in Afghanistan. A special memorial was created in his memory using his boots and his helmet. The Ferndale High School graduate left behind his wife, Sarah, and one-year-old son, Jack. The memorial includes a special bench just for Jack to sit on whenever he visits.

"It's just nice for Jack," Sarah Leach said. "It's a nice place for him to come and talk to his dad if he wants to talk to his dad or feel close with his father."

Mrs. Leach says family members are honored and thankful to all who made this possible. The American Legion and others raised $21,000 for the statue to make sure the courage and sacrifice of SSG Leach and others will never be forgotten.

"I'm really happy Jack has something to come to and see what a hero his father was," Sarah Leach said.

A pub crawl was held Saturday afternoon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Jack. If you'd like to donate, checks can be sent to the SSG Matthew Leach Memorial Fund, 2079 W. 12 Mile, Berkley, MI 48072.

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