Crown Point Army Spc. Alan “A.J.” Roach Jr. joined the military to protect his country, his mother said Thursday.
“He was a protective soul who never got in trouble in school unless he was protecting a woman from somebody else bad-mouthing her,” Lana Roach said. “Even in the Army, he would protect someone who was getting bullied. That is just what he did.”
A.J. Roach died in a motorcycle accident June 7 while stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, his mother said. His body was returned Thursday to Crown Point in preparation for a funeral and burial.
A 2011 Crown Point High graduate, A.J. Roach completed basic training in October. July 4 would have been his second anniversary in military service.
Roach, 20, was athletic, playing basketball at Crown Point High and baseball during his freshman year, his mother said.
Lana Roach said her son’s love for his family was exceptional. He was always there when they needed him, she said.
“Every tattoo pertained to family,” Lana Roach said. “One was in memory of his aunt who passed away a few years ago from cancer. Family was his backbone.”
Lana Roach said her son was generous and had a great sense of humor.
“Anywhere he went he made people laugh,” she said. “He was generous to a fault without regard to his own financial welfare.”
Roach’s body was given a police escort Thursday from Interstate 65 to Geisen Funeral Home in Crown Point. Geisen employee Jean Lahm said the Indiana Patriot Guard decorated the property with flags, which were flowing in the breeze while about 100 people gathered to honor the soldier. Patriot Guard members also assisted in taking Roach’s casket into the chapel.
“They showed a lot of support,” Lahm said. “It was really something to watch.”
Lana Roach said her family appreciates the community’s support.
“Everyone is going way out of their way to make sure he is recognized,” Lana Roach said.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Geisen, with Pastor Mark Wilkins officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Crown Point.