Services today for Army officer killed in Afghanistan

Funeral services for Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, an Army National Guard officer killed Feb. 25 in Afghanistan, are set for today at Trinity Assembly of God Church in Lutherville.

The 48-year-old major left his Gardenville home in September on his first deployment to the war-torn country. He had been working on training programs with the Afghan national police, when he and Lt. Col. John D. Loftis of Kentucky were shot to death inside the National Police Coordination Center, a ministry building in the heart of Kabul, the nation's capital. Their deaths occurred days after the burning of Qurans at a NATO military base ignited a fierce reaction across Afghanistan.

An Honor Guard and bagpiper band will open the service with a 10:30 a.m. tribute at the church, located at 2122 W. Joppa Road. The family will receive friends until the funeral rites begin at noon.

Marchanti, a former Baltimore County teacher, is survived by Peggy Sauter Marchanti, his wife of 24 years; sons Aaron Marchanti, a Baltimore City firefighter, and twins, Ian and Jonah Marchanti; daughter Leah Marchanti; sisters Ramona Clopein and Toni Mays and a grandson.

Interment with full military honors will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

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