STANDALE, MICH—Friends and family said goodbye to Army Corporal Joseph VanDreumel on Monday.
The 32-year-old soldier from West Michigan was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month while serving his country. A funeral service was held at Holy Spirit Church in Grand Rapids.
VanDreumel was born and raised in the Jenison area and he is a 1997 graduate of Jenison High School. He leaves behind his wife, Sarah, his 8-year-old son Skyler and 10-year-old daughter Angel.
Father-in-law, Allen Greiner of Standale says, "Joseph served his country and his family with the highest level of honor and admiration. He will be truly missed by all whom have had contact with him."
VanDreumel comes from a military family. Greiner is a retired veteran, having served 20 years. Joseph's father, Dennis VanDreumel, served 24 years in the U.S. Navy.
Relatives say he enlisted in the army in January 2010 after losing his job at Herman Miller.
VanDreumel had been serving in Germany until his recent deployment to Afghanistan six weeks ago.
He was with a friend from his unit conducting a vehicle recovery operation when an IED exploded, taking both of their lives.
"The biggest thing for me is less we forget, people will move on and our lives will move on, but this is a country of heritage and a country of people who sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice for their country and heaven forbid anyone in this country ever do things to deface it or degrade the people who are serving," said Greiner.
Joe's only brother says he is proud of the man Joe became.
"He's a perfect example of what a man can accomplish when he needs to. He jumped into it and excelled at it and there are not many men to that caliber in this world," said Adam VanDreumel.
"He was honestly a fun guy to be around, he had gone through struggles like millions of other people have, but he still could make me smile and just reach out and be my brother and I'm really going to miss that, " he said.