After two days of brutal heat in the very high 90s and astounding patriotism and support from the community, Cpl. Jonathan Ayers has now been laid to rest.
Will post more later, once I cool off and process all that happened. I will say, though, for anyone who stumbles across this blog post, that you can rest assured that Cpl. Ayers was most definitely given the hero's tribute that he so deserved.
In the meantime:
...... click link below for news report
And an article from the Fox 5 website:
Fallen Georgia Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Laid to Rest
Last Edited: Sunday, 20 Jul 2008, 9:43 PM EDT Created: Sunday, 20 Jul 2008, 6:23 PM Reported By: Charles Molineaux
Edited By: Leigha Baugham
SNELLVILLE, Ga. (MyFOX Atlanta) - A Georgia soldier who was killed while fighting in Afghanistan was laid to rest Sunday at a Snellville church. Corporal Jon Ayers was killed when Taliban forces attacked a U.S. base in Wanat on July 13.
The service was held at Zoar United Methodist Church in Snellville. Burial with full military honors followed at Eternal Hills Memory Gardens on Stone Mountain Highway.
Grieving relatives and hundreds of people from the community gathered in a sea of red, white and blue to say tight-lipped goodbyes to 24-year-old Corporal Jonathan Ayers.
Jonathan Dechko grew up with Ayers.
"A lot of summer days being outside school spending time with him and his brother. It's really sad to see him go," said Dechko.
Ayers was killed last Sunday in an intense firefight with Taliban guerillas. Eight other American soldiers died in the battle, making it the deadliest attack for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in three years.
Army reports state Ayers went down shooting, defending his outpost and his comrades.
"It's hard to say that what happened was a good thing but he died honorably for our country. I'm proud of the United States," said family friend Henry Dean.
The scorching hot weather turned the observances into a grueling test for well wishers. Four people were overcome and collapsed here at the cemetery. Gwinnett emergency workers said they suffered heat exhaustion as they tried to offer their support for Ayers and his family.
"I think its great, seeing all these people here showing their support for Jon. I'm here to show support too," said Dechko.
"It just touched my heart and I felt like I needed to be here," said well wisher Barbara Green.
Green's children went to Shiloh High School with Ayers. Green waved a sign Sunday along the funeral procession route, hoping Ayers' family saw how many people gathered to offer their support and honor Ayers' sacrifice.
"He was one of those honorable kinds of guys, always stand-up," said Dean.
"He became special to me because I just know he did some thing wonderful," said Green.
Georgia native Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, 27, from Jasper was also killed in the attack that killed Ayers.
The other seven killed were 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii; Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.; Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Wash.; Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tenn.; Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C.; Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Mo. and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Ky.
This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA