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Marine Lance Cpl. Joe M. Jackson

Died April 24, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of White Swan, Wash., assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died April 24 in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

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Open casket for Marine at White Swan High School

The Associated Press

WHITE SWAN, Wash. — The death of a local Marine in Afghanistan is another blow to an Eastern Washington tribal community still recovering from a February wildfire that destroyed 18 homes.

The gym at White Swan High School was opened Tuesday for an open casket viewing for the uniformed body of Lance Cpl. Joe Jackson.

School Superintendent Rick Foss approved the use of the gym for services to make it easier for the mourners in Yakama Nation town, about 30 miles southwest of Yakima in central Washington. The mother of Lance Cpl. Joe Jackson, Lydia Soren of Yakima, told KAPP she was moved by the people who cried over his body.

“And then seeing your babies cry, over your other baby, it’s just wrong,” she said.

She felt her son’s presence.

“I think he’s looking over the people,” Soren said.

The high school gym also was the setting for a Tuesday night rosary and Wednesday morning drum ceremony before the burial at Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima.

Jackson, 22, was killed April 24 by an improvised bomb while conducting combat operations in Helmand province. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Flags at Washington state agency buildings were lowered to half-staff Tuesday in his memory.

White Swan High School students who knew Jackson were among many that stopped by the gym to see the fallen marine.

“It was cool to see him as an open casket, in uniform,” says Rizwan Rose, a friend of Jackson’s.

“Was very hard for me and my other family members,” says Alex Craig, another friend of Jackson’s.

The other activity in White Swan is construction that began last week in White Swan on four homes in the first phase to replace 18 homes that were destroyed in the Feb. 12 wildfire , the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

About 100 buildings were damaged and more than 75 people were left homeless on the Yakama Nation Tribal land after a chimney fire was spread across 230 acres in 70 mph winds to brush and a wood pile at the Jeld-Wen wood-chipping plant. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.


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