A soldier depicted in HBO’s “Band of Brothers” series was provided an honor guard during his funeral Saturday from soldiers assigned to the same unit he served with in World War II.
Soldiers from the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, served as honor guards at the funeral for Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre after he passed away on May 31. He was the last surviving medic from the so-called “Band of Brothers.”
“The minute we heard about this we were going to support this (funeral) 100 percent,” Maj. Scott Krasko of the 101st Airborne Division said, according to the Army.
“We wanted to respectfully honor the legacy of Al Mampre. The current soldiers draw strength from those who went before,” he said.
Mampre, who died at the age of 97, enlisted in the Army in 1942 and received awards including a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He told Stars and Stripes in 2018 that he was a “little bit of a daredevil” and was better at “pluggin’ holes, not makin’ holes.” He said skills he used as a medic were first learned when he was a Boy Scout.
“Most of what they reviewed with me was what I learned in Boy Scouts, except giving shots,” he said. “We practiced on oranges. Well, we never ran into an orange in combat.”
Mampre’s funeral service was held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston, Ill., He was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie.
Mampre’s great nephew Staff Sgt. Paul Mampreian, who attended the funeral, said Mampre’s example inspired him to become a medic himself.
"He was always humble. He never talked about himself. Absolutely a down to earth man," Mampreian said. "He definitely influenced me to become a medic."
Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, who met Mampre at a Memorial Day commemoration in 2018, said Mampre was kind and generous to others.
“It only took one time to meet him to realize what a special person he was. It was because he made everyone feel special,” Belanger said. “He loved people. He gave so much of himself to other people. Everybody experienced his charisma, his wit, his humor and his charm and overall kindness.”