(KSDK) -- A soldier from Festus was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Wednesday afternoon.
PHOTO GALLERY: Funeral and Procession for Pfc. Andrew Habsieger
Private First Class Andrew Habsieger (pronounced Haab-seeger), 22, was killed on March 23rd by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq.
Habsieger died 2 weeks before he was scheduled to come home on leave and just a few days before his mother's birthday.
At his funeral mass, more than 600 people packed "The Church of Our Lady" in Festus where Habsieger had attended along with his family.
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Habsieger followed in the footsteps of his military grandfather and older brother. But the military originally wouldn't let him join because of migraine headaches he had as a child. Older brother Specialist Jacob Habsieger said, "The Marines told him he couldn't get in, the Army told him he couldn't get in. He fought and he fought. He wrote Congressmen. He wanted to serve his country and he did it well."
After the funeral, thousands of students lined the streets, waving flags and holding back tears, as the funeral procession went by Festus High School where Habsieger played football and graduated. The procession continued on to Main Street where more people in the community were standing by.
Habsieger was buried with full military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.