BOISE – An Idaho soldier who died earlier this month in Afghanistan was brought home today as part of an honorable transfer. U.S. Army Specialist Tom Murach and four other Americans died when a bomb exploded while they were driving down a road on May 4th.
Nick Murach described his brother Tom as a person with a great sense of humor.
As he and other family members welcomed his body home Wednesday afternoon at Gowen Field, it was the good time they had while he was alive that’s giving the family strength.
It was a homecoming his family never thought they would have to prepared for when Tom first entered the service in August of 2010.
"He really looked up to my brother Will who was in the Army, and he really wanted to emulate him," said Nick Murach.
In the military, when one of their own dies, the ceremonial honorable transfer is done with as much precision as everything else they do.
On May 4, 2013, an improvised explosive device took his life. Tom was only 22 years old.
Now, a week and a half later, Murach's family surrounded his casket, his mother resting her hand on the red and white of the American flag, while his three brothers stood strong by his side.
"That was a great sense of peace for me knowing that Tom was back home," said Nick Murach.
Murach's older brother Nick said humor was Tom's biggest identifying trait.
"Everybody at his high school recognized him as a class clown," said Nick Murach.
As a teenager, Nick said he started calling Tom, "Spanky," a nickname that Tom embraced. But to his fellow soldiers, his faith is what stood him apart.
"His platoon looked to him as their spiritual leader, and that provides my family and I great comfort knowing that he felt that way," said Nick Murach.
There was enormous support from members of the community as his body was taken to a Boise funeral home. That support showed that Murach's sacrifice will not be forgotten.
"We all take a lot of comfort knowing how Tom lived," said Nick Murach.
Murach was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas.
He will be laid to rest Monday, May 20, 2013.
His funeral will take place at Capital Christian Center in Meridian at 1 p.m., and he will be buried at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery.