Sunday, July 15, 2007

Jeremy Allbaugh laid to rest

BLACKWELL — The brother of Marine Cpl. Jeremy Allbaugh, who was killed last week in Iraq, urged close to 500 mourners Friday to honor his brother's last request — to remember him.

Army 2nd Lt. Jason Allbaugh recalled during Friday's funeral at the First Christian Church some special moments and a brief conversation they had at his farewell party just before his younger brother deployed to Iraq with his Marine unit.

"He said, ‘Jason, if something happens to me, do me a favor,'” Jason Allbaugh said.

"He said, ‘Do two things for me. Take care of Mom and Dad,' and there was a pause in his voice,” Jason Allbaugh said.

Then Jeremy said, "remember me,” Jason said.

There was a fun side of Jeremy, too, Jason Allbaugh said.

His brother and a friend once sawed a couch in half and put it in the back of his El Camino, Jason said.

Asked about it, Jeremy said, "it's a great way to fish,” Jason Allbaugh recalled.

On July 5, the family was notified that Jeremy Allbaugh, 21, had been killed when his Humvee was hit a roadside bomb in Anbar province of Iraq.

Jeremy Allbaugh grew up in Harrah and graduated in 2004 from Harrah High School.

He was the nephew of Joe Allbaugh, a business consultant and former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during President Bush's first term in office. Joe Allbaugh also was Bush's campaign manager in the 2000 presidential race.

Jason Allbaugh said his brother meant the world to him, and was his best friend.

"Rest easy, sleep well, little brother. ... Others have taken up where you fell,” he said.

Jeremy Allbaugh shipped out April 12 with his Marine unit for Iraq.

"He went out every day without hesitation. He did honor to his platoon ... and most important to his country,” Jason Allbaugh said.

The Rev. Jeff Koch, pastor of the First Christian Church in Blackwell, said Jeremy Allbaugh "paid the ultimate sacrifice so tonight we can sleep easy.”

After the service, the funeral procession took the long trip to the Blackwell cemetery.

Directly behind the cars carrying the family were about 40 motorcycles driven by members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a national group that attends funerals of Americans killed in combat.

On one block along the route, children and adults waved American flags when the procession passed by.

After prayers at the cemetery, two Marines carefully folded the U.S. flag that covered the casket and then handed the flag to Jon and Jenifer Allbaugh, the parents of the slain Marine.

Charles Liles of Wichita, Kan., played "Amazing Grace” and the Marine hymn with bagpipes at the cemetery.

From the Oklahoman

Related Link:
Jeremy Allbaugh reported killed in Iraq