Family and friends gathered to say their final goodbyes to a local fallen soldier. Private First Class Jon Townsend was killed in Afghanistan on September 19th. Friday, hundreds attended his funeral and many more stood outside as a show of support for those inside the First Baptist Church of Claremore.
Townsend was only 19 years old. He leaves behind a legion of those who loved him, including a new bride. The two married just days before he deployed. Instead of a happy homecoming there are sad goodbyes. "He's a veteran. He's a brother," said veteran Ruben Delany. Debbie McDonald, a military wife said standing outside the church is the least she can do. She says she's proud of the red, white and blue. Like, her all of the supporters said they were grateful for Jon's service, but everyone wanted him to be safe.
Military mom Crystal Stewart says the guard, the flags and the service are sobering reminders of the danger military men and women face. "This could have been me. We send our babies over there to protect us, and I never knew from one time to the next if he was going to come home," she told Tulsa's Channel 8.
For the family that is hurting they all offer their support just by showing up. "I wish more people was out. I wish more people understood what was going on," McDonald said.
Townsend was bury with full military honors after the funeral.