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Naperville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Monday, June 21, 2010
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A west suburban family spent Father's Day mourning the loss of a dad killed in combat overseas.

The armored tank Private First Class Gunnar Hotchkin was riding in struck a roadside bomb and flipped over Wednesday.

The Naperville native was a graduate of Hinsdale Central high school. Last year, the father of three joined the Army.

He was deployed in December.

Hotchkin was based at Fort Bragg, but his wife, Erin, and their children were in the Chicago area visiting relatives when they got the news.

Erin Hotchkin says she told her children that their father was a hero.

"You always knew and felt his presence when he was in the room. He just always lifted your spirits, and you know, brought so much happiness to your life. And we were very, very lucky to have him," she said.

Hotchkin's funeral will be Friday in Hinsdale. He will be buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

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