ESSEX, MA, USA
SPC, COMPANY D, 1ST BATTALION, 66TH ARMOR, FORT HOOD, TX
BALAD, IRAQ 09/19/2006
Thousands lined Swampscott streets to say good-bye to U.S. Army Specialist Jared John Raymond killed in Balad, Iraq. Respectful silence filled Humphrey Street as the procession began, continued to the cemetery and lasted through the graveside service. No one spoke, and even small children were aware of this special time.
When Army Specialist Jared Raymond returned to Swampscott two months earlier on leave from his tour of duty in Iraq, his mother took out an ad in the local newspaper welcoming him home.
Jean Marino remembers the polite boy who grew up across the street and liked to make snow angels in her backyard. She talks about the tall, strong soldier hugging and kissing her when he came back from Iraq for a few weeks in July.
Rick McCarriston, a Swampscott police officer, recalls the car-crazy teenager who filled his cruiser with gas at the Gulf Station and wanted to know everything there was to know about V-8s and V-6s.
Jim Raymond tells about the earnest nephew who always wanted to be a Boston police officer, until he declared after Sept. 11, 2001, that he wanted to join the military. He recalls the eager 18-year-old who enlisted in the Army in July 2004, a month after graduating from Swampscott High School. “America called and Specialist Jared John Raymond answered. This was a kid who never asked for anything. He simply made a positive impression on so many people,” explained Jim Raymond. “He was a driven young man who always talked from his heart and simply loved his family. If you were going to have a kid, Jared was the kid you wanted to have. He was just a model, model kid. Jared is a hero. ”
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. ” Mother Teresa