Father of fallen Marine remembers son as "a warrior, a hero"

Tab Leach and Sgt. Talon Leach (Sgt. Leach family)

Sergeant Talon Leach was a husband, a son, a brother, and a friend to many in Fulton.

Ever since he was a boy, Tab Leach said his son always put others first.

"He was definitely one to pull for the underdog. If there was a group of people and someone was picking on one kid, that was the kid he would gravitate to and stick up for," Tab Leach said of his son.

Sgt. Leach made sure everyone around him knew he cared.

"Had a heck of a hug. I've always taught him if you're going to shake a man's hand, let him know you're a man. And he took that. If you're going to give somebody a hug, let them know that you're there."

He joined the Marines in 2010. He and his wife lived in North Carolina, where he was stationed at Camp Lejeune, as a member of the Marines Special Operations Command. Sgt. Leach remained in close contact with with his dad, and just last week, he called home.

"He said he was going to have the month of December off," Tab Leach said. "We planned on doing some deer hunting, and just mentally put a note in there that I was going to need some time off in December."

That would be the last time Tab Leach would hear his son's voice.

"You never want to see the Marine Corp show up at your door at 2 o'clock in the morning. We knew what was going on when we saw them at the front door."

It was the news no parent wants to hear. Sgt. Leach had given his life for his country.

"He's a fallen warrior, he is a hero," Tab said with pride.

"Who wouldn't be proud of their son for the ultimate sacrifice."

"Our freedoms have been bought with a lot of people's blood and I have respect for anybody that wants to serve or has served."

And while tough days lie ahead, Tab will rely on his faith to get him through, "His word says that I'll see my son again in heaven. And I believe that."

Sgt. Leach will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The family said a local memorial service is also being planned.

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