Friends, family gather to welcome home fallen hero

Friends and family remember Madole as a man of deep faith and care for others.

The body of a former Eldon man was returned to his hometown Tuesday night.

Thomas Madole was brought back to Eldon after being fatally wounded responding to an assault call while he was employed as a public safety officer in rural Alaska.

Missouri State Troopers and Eldon police escorted his body from Kansas City International Airport to the Phillips Funeral home.

Friends and family gathered along the street and sidewalk to welcome Madole home, and to share fond memories.

A family friend, Janice Sidebottom, shared a funny story about her husband and Tom.

"This is kind of funny, him and my husband liked to go fishing down on the river a lot and one time they went and they ran into a log and knocked a hole in their boat...and they had to call for help to get home. Just things like that with his fishing memories and things, it's really been hard on everyone, its almost more than we can bear really," she said.

Madole will receive a law enforcement Purple Heart posthumously for his heroic actions.

Many said 54-year-old Madole was a man of great faith, who wanted to help people. He ministered for several years, and decided to take a route in law enforcement in 2010.

Visitation for Madole will be on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home, and the funeral service will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at the New Life Assembly of God Church in Barnett, Mo.