Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Steven Jewell laid to rest

Spc. Steven Jewell made his final trip home as he was laid to rest Sunday at Pinelawn Memorial Park.

An American flag draped Jewell’s casket as six soldiers from Fort Bragg saluted him and placed him in front of family members.

Nearly 200 family, friends, police officers, firefighters and war veterans surrounded the gravesite to pay tribute to Jewell, who laid in death beneath the flag he served in life.

Jewell, 26, was killed Aug. 14, in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crash in Anbar Province, Iraq, during a post-maintenance test flight.

A native of Dover, Jewell was among five people killed in the crash. They were part of 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, Task Force 49, “Flying Dragons” based in Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Jewell’s family was also awarded his service medals which included the Bronze Star, the Navy/Marine Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

A 3-volley salute was fired and “Taps” played in the background as a final salute.

The flag that draped Jewell’s casket was folded and presented to his wife, Lisa Johnson Jewell. A folded flag was also given to Jewell’s father, Billy Jewell; his 8-year-old son, Will Jewell; and his mother Cindy J. Wisener.

Any family member would tell you Jewell died doing what he loved.

“He was proud to go and serve,” said Billy Jewell. “That’s what he wanted to do.”

Steven Jewell joined the military Aug. 14, 2005, two years to the date before he died. This was his first tour of Iraq, arriving Aug. 1, after being in Kuwait for a month.

Jewell’s wife, Lisa Jewell, will miss everything about her husband, who died on their six month wedding anniversary.

“He was fun, outgoing and witty,” she said.

Lisa, who is also stationed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will return to complete her term of service before moving back to Georgia to be with family.

More than 70 bikers with the Patriot Guard Riders of America attended the funeral and set up a flag line around the gravesite.

“We want to honor our fallen warriors and pay respects to the family,” said Ride Captain Doug Jones.

Members from the Veterans Motorcycle Club in Ayden also attended the funeral to pay tribute to the fallen soldier.

From the Kinston Free Press

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Steven R. Jewell dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'