FORT RILEY, KS (KFVS) - Funeral services have been set for a soldier from Thebes who drowned in a Christmas Eve hunting accident in Kansas.
Visitation for Spc. Thomas (Trey) Hedrick will be Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ford and Sons Funeral Home on Mt. Auburn in Cape Girardeau. The funeral is Thursday, Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. Hedrick will be buried in Thebes, Illinois.
The body of Thomas Hedrick was recovered from a lake Wednesday, Jan. 1 according to his wife, Brandi Hedrick.
The Geary County Sheriff's Office in Kansas said crews found Hedrick's body at 1:22 p.m. on New Year's Day.
Recovery efforts resumed Tuesday after unfavorable weather conditions hampered previous attempts to find Hedrick.
Family members in Thebes and Cape Girardeau and Jackson mourn the loss of the local soldier who apparently drowned in a Christmas Eve hunting accident near Fort Riley, Kansas.
According to family members and the Geary County Sheriff's Department, 31-year-old Thomas Hedrick, commonly known as Trey, was duck hunting on Milford Lake when the accident happened.
"We are devastated," said Brandi Hedrick. "He was the most wonderful man, a fantastic husband, father, and soldier."
Brandi Hedrick said her husband had just returned in November after serving in Afghanistan. The couple has two children ages six and seven.
Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf said they got an emergency call that Hedrick was stranded on ice. He was with a friend who was nearby and trying to recover a duck they'd just shot.
According to authorities, Hedrick got into a makeshift boat and started out on the ice where the duck was when he was caught by the wind and pushed further out onto the water.
Sheriff Wolf said that's when the boat started to filled with water. He said Hedrick made it to a sheet of ice but ended up stranded and then fell through.
Numerous boats equipped with enhanced side scan sonar, cold water dive teams, and other support assets were utilized in the recovery of Hedrick.
Meanwhile, Brandi Hedrick said Army Spc. Hedrick loved his family more than anything. She said he was so proud to be a soldier and the greatest friend and companion anyone could ask for.
"He would help anyone he could no matter what it took," said Brandi Hedrick. "He made friends everywhere he went. Never had an enemy. He was very close to his family. He always tried to do the best he could for me and our kids. He absolutely loved hunting, especially ducks, fishing, guns, and working on vehicles. He's always happy. Has many stories to tell. He loved being a soldier."
Brandi Hedrick said many loved ones were by her side in Kansas.
"He is gone way too soon," she said. "He had so much to offer. He was a very good soldier. He was very hardworking and took great care of his family. He was my best friend. I could talk to him about anything. He always knew how to make us smile. He's a very loving husband. I couldn't have married a better man. He was the whole package."
Hedrick said she is so touched by the outpouring of love from his fellow soldiers and friends and family near Thebes and the Cape and Jackson area.
The Trey Hedrick Memorial Fund has been set up at Montgomery Bank in Cape Girardeau to help the family.
Multiple agencies assisted in the recovery, including: Geary County Sheriff's Department personnel, Geary County Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Emergency Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas State Park's Department, Kansas State Wildlife and Parks, Ft. Riley DES, Ft. Riley PD, Ft. Riley 1st ID assisted, Mission Township Fire Department Dive Team, Overland Park Police Department Dive Team and Saline County Dive Team.