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Happy birthday, Officer Lehner: A tribute from your friends

Today is Officer Craig Lehner’s first birthday in heaven and to honor him, friends wanted to share a few kind words about him. Whether it was a time he made them smile, or a time he made a difference in their life, Officer Lehner was truly one in a million.

‘He was always funny, always the center of attention’ 

A grade school photo of Craig and his friend, Lisa, pictured in front of him.

“My earliest memory is from a birthday party I had in middle school. Skinny little Craig had wrapped himself around a broomstick and some boys held him up like a rotisserie. He never changed from that time in our life. Always funny, always the center of attention. He made people laugh. We lost touch over the years except through Facebook, where he still continued to make me laugh. The world lost a true hero in more ways than one. – Lisa Buttery, an Akron High School classmate and friend.

‘We all used to cuddle in Fort Drum when it was cold to stay warm’

Photos from when Craig was stationed in Iraq in 2011.

“We used to always make funny faces and do funny voices to entertain ourselves on missions in Iraq. We also used to all cuddle in Fort Drum when it was cold to stay warm.” – Jeanna Marrano Belmont, friend who served in the U.S. Army with Craig.

‘He was like the older brother I never had’

Craig and his friend, Michael, in Iraq.

“He and I would sing power ballets in our CHU overseas and he’d help me with my life problems cause he’s been where I’ve been. He helped me grow to the NCO that I am and was there when I was at my low points when we got home. He offered me to move in and he was like the older brother I never had.” – Michael Albanese, friend who served in the U.S. Army with Craig.

‘It was a friendship that was unbreakable’ 

The Fantastic Four

“The best stories were when us four were together. We constantly laughed like kids. I ended up coming up with the name Fantastic Four (corny I know)… and Craig would call us the four horsemen. We just talked every day and we had so much fun together. We made up a silly dance that we did together. It was honestly a friendship that was unbreakable between us four. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.– Juliana Morelli, member of the four horsemen with Craig, Lucia, and Tommy, Craig’s partner.

We will never forget you, Craig

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