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Salem Oregon Bids Farewell to a MarineSalem-News.com
Hundreds including the Patriot Guard Riders gathered to say their final goodbyes to a well known Sprague High graduate.
(SALEM) - An Oregon family said goodbye to a local hero Saturday. Derek Jones, a graduate of Sprague High School in Salem, was a U.S. Marine who died while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Hundreds gathered at the Salem Evangelical Church to pay respects to the Marine Lance Corporal who was attached to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The service was attended by family and friends as well as Oregon's Governor Ted Kulongoski, himself a former U.S. Marine, and Oregon Congresswoman Darlene Hooley who has worked hard to improve working conditions for Marines and soldiers fighting overseas. The service was accented by the traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps and amid the sadness, many speakers in attendance made comments that drew people back to the lighter side of Derek Jones, a great friend, husband and father. The Patriot Guard Riders showed up in strength on motorcycles as they do during other military funerals. Their presence guarantees respect for the fallen serviceman and their families. The PGR showed up with over 100 participants. The service was photographed by Q Madp of iraqwarheroes.org. Q maintains information in all Americans killed in the fighting overseas and he attends the vast majority of military funerals in the Northwest to record the events for the families. The following comment was left on his Website, it offers a clear idea of how much Derek Jones will be missed. The one time that really stand out in all of our minds is the night the power went out in our neighborhood. All the neighbors came over and we lit a bunch of candles and just sat around on the patio talking with nothing but the candles to light the evening. Someone mentioned that some music would be nice but we had no power so we had no music. Suddenly Derek remembered that his phone also plays MP3s so we finally had some tunes to listen to. That was really the last time that we all got together before Derek went to Iraq. Pamela (Derek's wife) and I decided that when she gets back from Oregon we are all gonna get together again, cut off all the lights and listen to the music on Derek's cell phone by candle light one last time in remembrance of him.
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