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A Hero's Farewell
In front of three pinyon pines and a juniper, Ben Lomond Peak looming in the background, Sgt. 1st Class Clint Daniel Ferrin was laid to rest Tuesday afternoon.
Twenty members of Ferrin's unit, the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based 82nd Airborne Division, gave their comrade, killed in Iraq 10 days ago, a hero's send-off with a 21-gun salute. A bugler played taps.
U.S. flags draping Ferrin's casket were presented to his widow, Melinda Ferrin, and his mother, Rosemary Ferrin, as about 100 family members and friends gathered.
During funeral services earlier in the day, Ferrin, who had two children, Zachary, 6, and Madison, 3, was eulogized as a kind, devout and compassionate man who loved his family and enjoyed his work.
"He loved living," said Robert Wood, area president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "This was a man who exuded life. . . . He loved his country, his family, his God."
Master Sgt. Barry Leon remembered Ferrin as a "go-to guy."
"If he had a mission, he would complete it," said Leon.
Brig. Gen. Richard Rowe, of the 82nd Airborne, posthumously awarded Ferrin three medals: the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Good Conduct Medal. They were presented to Ferrin's son, wife and mother, respectively.
Quoting from remarks prepared by Capt. Michael Gonzalez, Ferrin's commander in Iraq, Rowe said Ferrin "was the epitome of the noncommissioned officer: loyal, honest, hard-working and modest."
Ferrin, 31, was a member of the 1st Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment, known as the "Devils in Baggy Pants."
During his 12-year career, he served tours of duty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Africa and Afghanistan.
In Iraq since Jan. 13, Ferrin was called the night of March 13 to seek out and destroy an enemy position in southeast Baghdad where rocket fire had been observed, said Rowe.
En route, Ferrin's Humvee struck a roadside bomb. Two other soldiers, Pfc. Joel Brattain, 21, of Santa Ana, Calif., and Sgt. Daniel Londono, 22, of Boston, also died. A fourth soldier was injured.
The three soldiers killed that night are among 570 U.S. troops who have died since Operation Iraqi Freedom began March 19, 2003.
Ten of the fatalities are from Utah or have strong ties to the Beehive State.
Ferrin's brother, John Ferrin, who serves with the Arizona National Guard, said in an interview that the family is doing "remarkably well."
"Our faith is our sustainment," he said. "We mourn his loss, but we know we will see him again."
John Ferrin said his sister-in-law plans to move her family back to North Ogden from Fort Bragg at the end of the school year.
The city of North Ogden today will hold a memorial service for Clint Daniel Ferrin in Centennial Park.