Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ray Werner laid to rest

BOISE - The last of three Idaho soldiers, killed while fighting in Iraq, have all been laid to rest.

Services were held for Private First Class Raymond Werner at the Cloverdale Church of God Friday.

Werner lived in Boise with his wife Lacey before he was deployed to Iraq with the 321st Engineering Battalion based at Gowen Field.

Werner and two other soldiers from that unit were killed on February 8th by a roadside bomb.

“Ray was my best friend, my support, my husband, my everything,” Lacey Werner said.

Private First Class Raymond Werner's wife of just over seven months bravely spoke about the love they shared - a love that made her feel safe. Lacey says her husband will always be her

“Not one day went by that I didn't tell him how proud I was of him,” she said.

Lacey says Ray was hilarious – a fitting description, since he was Cole Valley Christian High School's class clown and mascot.

“If nothing else, you knew you could always have fun with Ray and he would try to make you laugh,” Pastor Chris Standridge said.

At 14, Ray chose to rise above a troubled past and began connecting with many people at church.

Since then, his Pastor and good friend says he has touched many lives -- evident by a packed church at his memorial.

“I know hundreds, even thousands of lives who were changed forever because one 14 year old boy chose to give his life to Christ,” friend Ken Whitmire said.

Ray never got to be the father he had dreamed of being someday but his wife, Lacey says he did live out one goal of his life- being a great husband.

They spoke daily while he was away at war.

“Ray and I ended all of our conversations with ‘I love yous’ and ‘bye bye for now,’” Lacey said. “Knowing that we said that in our last conversation makes me feel at ease-because we truly meant it.”

Now Lacey says their conversation endings have new meaning- because she along with Ray's loved ones view this memorial the same way – it is “bye bye... for now.”

“The life he lived, the man he was, the things he did for his fellow man...and the ultimate sacrifice he made will never be forgotten,” Whitmire said.

“Good night my sweet angel and we will be together soon, again,” Lacey said.

Private First Class Raymond Werner joined the Army in 2005.

He received military honors before he was laid to rest at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

From KTVB 7

Related Link:
Raymond M. Werner dies of injuries from I.E.D.