United States Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jonathan Turner valiantly served seven tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had given the Marines 17 years of his life. But when he died in California from combat-related issues, his mother, who lives in Georgia, could not afford to travel there to retrieve his ashes. Those ashes of a fallen soldier were just going to be shipped to her.
Well, that didn’t sit too well at all with the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization that does so many things for the military and veterans organizations. Having a soldier’s remains shipped home in a mailed box just did not seem fitting at all for someone who served his country so well… and so much.
So the group, with hundreds of volunteers, decided to create a caravan among them and personally escort Staff Sgt. Turner’s remains across the country and deliver them to his mother.
Says one of the volunteers, Asha Lamy: “I got on the road at 6 o’clock [Friday] night out of Huntsville, Alabama and I rode over to Oklahoma. I need the family to know that you’re not alone and we care.”
One volunteer would travel a certain amount of distance before handing over the staff sergeant’s remains to another, inching closer and closer to his mother’s home. Well that destination was finally reached.
According to information on the Patriot Guard Riders website: Staff Sgt. “Turner was a great leader who inspired his fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in daily life. You were his friend if you knew him for five minutes or five years. He would give you the shirt off his back.”
And because of his great dedication to the corps, the riders were giving HIM back to his mother.