MODESTO — The body of California Army National Guard Spc. Benjamin Pleitez of Turlock arrived at Modesto Airport's Sky Trek terminal Tuesday morning and was transported to a Turlock funeral home for a private viewing.
The Patriot Guard, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson, various law enforcement and military agencies and residents gathered as the plane touched down.
A public memorial service for Pleitez will take place Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2400 N. Olive Ave. in Turlock. After the service, public graveside honors will be held at San Joaquin National Cemetery, 3205 McCabe Road, Santa Nella, where Pleitez will be interred. A reception then will be held at Gustine Veterans Memorial Hall, 145 Fifth St.
Pleitez, 25, died July 27 in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. The cause of death has not been released.
A member of the National Guard since 2006, Pleitez was a medic assigned to the 1072nd Transportation Company, 746th Combat Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade in Van Nuys.
Pleitez's family moved to the Turlock area in 1999; he attended Modesto Adventist Academy and Denair High School before graduating through an independent study program.