One local church community held a candlelight vigil and sent up prayers to a young soldier and fellow church member, who was shot in Afghanistan and remained in critical condition in Germany Wednesday night.
PFC Marshall Lane, 23, of Johnson City, was supposed to be on his way home Wednesday, being finished with his deployment, but was shot by a member of the Afghan police that he was training while overseas.
Lane, a graduate of Science Hill High School, was, as of Wednesday night, on a ventilator in a hospital outside of Munich.
His mother-in-law, Michelle Arwood, attended the service and vigil that started at 7 p.m. at New Hope Church of Christ, 4527 Bristol Highway, along with Lane’s 13 month old son, Frankie, and other friends and family members. She said her family was thankful for the support through prayer they’ve received so far.
“It means a lot to know that people are praying. The support and the turnout here tonight is just amazing,” Arwood said. “I know Marshall and Amanda (Lane’s wife and her daughter) both would appreciate (it) when they find out how many people were here, how special it is.”
She said that her daughter was in Washington D.C. Wednesday night and that she was keeping an eye on Frankie while she was away. Arwood said they’ve been given timely updates to Lane’s condition and wants everyone to keep praying for his recovery.
“We’ve got a lot of information as far as them keeping us updated to any changes. We feel like he’s in good hands,” she said. “Please keep ... praying for him. That’s the only thing that’s really going to heal him.”
Lane was shot in the chest, which pierced a lung, and was also shot in one of his hands.
When they found out about Lane being injured in Afghanistan, Paul Peer, minister of New Hope, along with his wife, Reba, decided to do something to allow their church members, an already close-knit community, a time to pray for Lane and his family.
“My husband and I talked about Marshall and we wanted to do something special,” Reba said. “We decided to have a prayer vigil and invite everybody that wanted to come.”
Church members responded to the invite, as they packed the sanctuary and sang hymns and shared fond memories and thoughts of Lane, as well as prayed for his recovery.
Paul Peer said he’s known Lane since he was a kid.
“I’ve known Marshall ever since he was just a little boy. We’re close and ... he’s a big part of my life,” he said. “If you need somebody to do something, he’d do it.”
After the service, the congregation, silently with candles in their hands, made the walk down to the end of the drive at the bottom of the hill, lit the candles and marched back up and around the church to the cross positioned to the left of the church grounds. Scott Peer, the minister’s grandson and close friend of Lane’s, led the candlelight prayer walk carrying the American flag in honor of his friend.
“We pray (that) he will be well and home soon,” Reba said.