MARBLE FALLS , TX , USA U.S. Army SPC, CO B, 2ND BN, 508TH INF REG, 4TH BCT, FORT BRAGG, NC 03/01/2012, AFGHANISTAN
Family, friends and the community of Marble Falls paid their final respects to a fallen soldier. A memorial service was held Saturday afternoon for Army Specialist Payton Jones, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month. It was an emotional day for people in Marble Falls as they mourned the loss of Jones. The family asked that the media not go into the service, so they could privately say goodbye to their American hero.
Jones was only 19-years-old when he was gunned down March 1st in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Two members of the Afghan national army and a teacher for the army turned their guns on Jones and another paratrooper.
Flags around Marble Falls flew at half-staff in his honor, and marquees donned Jones’ name in his memory. Dozens of Patriot Guard Members rode their motorcycles during Saturday’s processional, escorting Jones to his final resting place.
People came out — some standing and some holding flags — to say thank you for his service.
“We need to show our support for our troops,” said Dwayne Smith, who came out to pay respect to Jones. “They’re putting their life on the line for us, and we need to show our support.”
“We wanted to pay our respects to this fine young man who gave his life for our country,” said George Brannies, who also paid respect to Jones.
Law enforcement officials and fire fighters from neighboring communities also came out to be a part of the services. Jones was honored at his graveside with taps and a gun salute. Jones joined the Army in July 2010. He was stationed at Fort Bragg and received several honors including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. This was his first deployment. Staff Sergeant Jordan Bear was killed alongside Jones. The 25-year-old was a squad leader assigned to the 82nd Airborne with Jones.