VIDEO: Procession Brings Fallen Casper Marine Home to His Family
It was a blistering cold night in Casper on Thursday. But the cold and the wind did not stop a group of Wyoming Patriot Guard Riders and American Legion Riders from gathering to witness Lance Corporal Jerrod L. Warden come home.
Not only were they there as witness, they were there to participate in the procession for Jerrod as his remains were delivered to his family.
Jerrod died while serving his country, though the exact cause of his death is currently under investigation. Still, by all accounts, Warden gave his life for his country so his country wanted to give him something back.
"We're here to bring this young marine home," one of the Riders stated. "And we're here to protect him and his family throughout this procession. He gave his life for this country and this is the least we can do. The weather doesn't matter; the wind doesn't matter. We are here for him, to welcome him home."
Jerrod, a former football player and wrestler for Kelly Walsh High School, was due to return to Casper on December 18.
"This isn't how this was supposed to go," the Rider said. "But he's home now. He's safe. And we are here for his family."
Jerrod is survived by his mother, his father, and his sister, to whom he was especially close. No words will ever adequately express how much this country owes Jerrod and the rest of the men and women in military who give their lives for this country. Nothing can be said that will ease the pain, the loss, and the heartbreak of losing a son or a brother. But Jerrod's family can rest assured that Jerrod will watch over them just as he has watched over this country. He may be gone, but his name, his legacy will live on in all those who remember him. His friends, his family members, former classmates, his fellow Marines; all can attest to the type of man Jerrod was. He was one of the good ones.
"Semper fi," one Rider said.
"Semper fi," his comrades repeated.
Semper fidelis is a Latin phrase. It means "always faithful," or "always loyal." That is exactly what Jerrod Warden was. And while the flag of this country blew in the Wyoming wind, a wind that Jerrod somehow loved, numerous vehicles shrouded the hearse that housed Jerrod's remains. He wasn't alone. And, now that he's gone, he's able to watch over his people as a faithful guardian and a loyal protector. His people are not alone now, either.
And they never will be again. Jerrod will make sure of that.
Rest easy, young man. You've earned it.
Video of the procession can be seen below.