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Paying Tribute to Fallen Soldier

MATAMORAS — Captain Jason Jones from Orwigsburg put his life on the line for our country .

The 29-year-old Green Beret and Blue Mountain High School graduate was killed by enemy gunfire earlier this month in Afghanistan.

Today he was buried at West Point, but not before one final ride through his home state.

Hundreds of strangers turned out to say good-bye to a man who many didn’t know. But to them that didn’t matter, it was about honoring a local soldier.

A flag-draped fire truck and dozens of motorcycles honored a soldier who died in the line of duty.

They stopped at the PA welcome center off Interstate 84 in Matamoras in Pike County. The last stop in Pennsylvania before Jones went on to his final resting place at West Point.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here today to see the support for the family. And to say God be with them all,” said Katherine Lemon of Matamoras.

Captain Jones was killed by enemy gunfire in Afghanistan earlier this month.

Even though he was a stranger to most of the people who came out, they still consider him a brother.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the Afghanistan or Iraq or Vietnam War. It doesn’t matter. He is one of us. He’s a brother in arms and we came today to pay homage to him,” said Carmine Defino of Port Jervis, New York.

For people who came here today, they say it’s touching, knowing hundreds of people came out to say goodbye to Captain Jones.

“This was pretty spontaneous. There’s a lot of Pike County residents that came out today to drop a simple notice just to say thank you, thank you to the family. Tell them we love them, tell them we support them,” said Pike County Commissioner Richard Caridi.

Captain Jones’ father Jay was presented with a picture of his son from the patriot guard riders of New York.  Jay Jones took a few moments to say thank you to everyone who has supported his family.

“We feel your strength and we will never ever forget what you’re doing for us. Peace. Thank you very much,” Jones said.

From Pike County, Captain Jones received a police escort, and an escort from dozens of strangers taking him to West Point New York, his alma mater and his final resting place.

“Captain Jones was a hero in my eyes and what real Americans are is who Captain Jones is, because he still is, because he is in our memories and he will be there forever in the hearts of veterans without a doubt,” said Pierce Bunce, the director of Veterans Affairs.

Captain Jones’ hometown of Orwigsburg held a service Tuesday night at the borough hall including a 21 gun salute.


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