Jacksonville Patriot Guard escorts fallen Marine to final resting place


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–More than three weeks after Sergeant Joseph Murray returned to Jacksonville, his body made its final journey on Monday to its resting place.

Dozens of Jacksonville Patriot Guard Riders suited up for the final leg of their journey to escort Sgt. Murray’s body to Arlington, Virginia.

“We make it so it’s honorable for the family and for the departed,” rider Emmett Solas said.

The trip is over 300 miles and will take the riders from Jacksonville to Highway 70 to I-95.

For the Patriot Guard Riders who have been a part of Sgt. Murray’s procession from the very beginning, it’s a personal mission.

“I just think it’s an honor to show respect to our veterans,” rider Dale Abernathy said. “I just want to make sure I show respect and to help the family through their grief with a turnout like this.”

Sgt. Murray was killed in the KC-130T crash on July 10th.

His body returned to Jacksonville nearly three weeks ago. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted it then, during his funeral ceremony and for his final trip.

“He’s a Marine,” Salas said. “We always honor our Marines whether during their service or in this case, he gave his ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”

The Patriot Guard is made up of many retired military members who protect the family members of the fallen during the funeral and grieving process.

Folks from the Jacksonville community lined the streets to say their final goodbyes.

Sgt. Murray’s burial service is scheduled for Tuesday.

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