Funeral arrangements set for decorated Alabama soldier

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An Alabama soldier honored for his heroics in battle has died.

Thirty-one year-old Seargant Jason Stegall of Trussville died early Monday morning at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C..

The visitation is December 20, from 4pm to 8pm, at CrossPoint Baptist Church in Trussville.

Funeral services are Monday at 1pm at the church.

The procession will leave from the church to Jefferson Memorial Gardens for burial.

The Patriot Riders will join.

Sgt Stegall was diagnosed with H1N1 before his passing, but the medical examiner has not determined the cause of death.

Sgt. Stegall was awarded the Purple Heart for his actions during firefights in Iraq and is currently in consideration for another. He also was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for helping destroy 2 truck bombs before they could harm his base. He was shot twice and involved in 2 other explosions.

So it is especially tragic for his wife, son, and 2 stepsons tonight that this hero fell victim to illness.

Family members and friends tell FOX6 News that Sgt. Stegall returned from Iraq and was stationed in El Paso, TX. There, about 2 weeks ago, he became ill.

Stegall went to the doctor last Monday breathing problems. Doctors discovered his liver was failing and flew him to a medical hospital in Washington, D.C.

Stegall's family and friends rushed to his side late last week, but Sgt. Stegall never regained consciousness and was taken off of life support Sunday night.

"Jason has always been a leader, he's always been someone to go ahead and do it, I've followed him 100 times," said Wayne Stewart, a childhood friend of Sgt. Stegall's.

Stewart adds, "When he went to the Army we knew he was going to succeed, we knew he was going to be taking care of his friends there just like he would us. As we grow up our parents worry about us just going out and doing what we do around town. And then for a mother and father to know they're son's going overseas, they do worry about him. His friends worry about him, and he was strong, he fought through it, nothing seemed like it could hurt him, and then...I don't what else to say about that man."

The arrangements for Sgt. Stegall's funeral are still pending until an autopsy is complete. Sgt. Stegall's family plans to bury him at the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in the veteran's ring.

A fund has been set up at Regions Bank in the name of Jason Stegall if you'd like to help the Stegall family. Ask for the donation account of Jason Stegall.