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Bikers Ride 2,000 Miles To Bring Their Fallen Marine Friend’s Ashes To His Family

After a U.S. Marine passed away due to combat-related injuries, his family was unable to fly to get his remains. So a dedicated group of bikers stepped up to transport the veteran to his final resting place.

A Fallen Marine

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jonathan Turner faithfully served in the Marines for 17 years. In that time, he was a part of seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The strong serviceman retired from the service in 2014 at the age of 40, settling in California.

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jonathan Turner

Fox 5 Atlanta

Sadly, Staff Sergeant Turner passed away a year later, after injuries sustained in battle took their toll. Unfortunately, his family lived in Georgia and could not afford to come to California for his remains. The Marine Corps paid to have Turner’s body cremated and planned to ship his ashes through FedEx.

Remembering A Friend

Non-profit organization the Patriot Guard Riders heard of the plan and were taken aback. The organization is well known for attending funerals for military personnel, firefighters, and police officers, serving as support for grieving families as well. Turner was a part of their group, which had many motorcyclists and veterans as well.

Bikers transport Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jonathan Turner

Facebook / Lynne Frazier Overman

For the PGR, Staff Sergeant Turner was a great friend who they missed dearly. “Turner was a great leader who inspired his fellow Marines, both in the Corps and in daily life,” the group shared on its website. “You were his friend if you knew him for five minutes or five years. He would give you the shirt off his back.” The members in California refused to let their fallen friend be shipped across the country like someone’s package.

Riding Out

The PGR in California quickly devised a better plan to honor their fallen friend “The California Patriot Guard Riders contacted all of the state captains from California to [Georgia] and explained the situation, that it wasn’t proper to ship this war hero home via FedEx,” Jeff Goodiel of the Georgia Patriot Guard Riders shared in an interview with Fox5 Atlanta. A caravan of hundreds of volunteers assembled to transport Turner’s ashes back home. A group of riders would take one part of the long journey and hand off the ashes to the next group to continue on to the destination.

Bikers transport Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jonathan Turner

Facebook / Lynne Frazier Overman

As each group of riders handed off Turner’s remains, they all performed a small ceremony to pay proper tribute to him. With the help of many, Turner’s ashes made it to Georgia in August 2015, greatly touching his family mourning his passing.  “It’s heartwarming, to see all these people here,” said Annie Glanton, Turner’s mother, when the group made it to Georgia. “I know that he was loved by a lot of people.”

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