Hundreds lined the First Baptist Church in Claremore as the family of fallen Claremore solider, PFC Jon Townsend arrived for his funeral service Friday morning.
Many people dressed in the patriotic red, white, and blue, and others who were a little closer to the family wore pink and black. Those colors were meant to be PFC Townsend and his wife Brittany Townsend’s wedding colors. The couple was married earlier this year and was going to have a wedding reception with those colors this winter. Now the colors have appeared in Townsend’s funeral.
Veterans riding their motorcycles and other vehicles held up a flag line for the family.
“I was with the family and Katy, Jon's mother said, ‘This is incredible this is amazing, I don't think there ever was this many motorcycles for the president!’” described Patriot Guard Ride Captain, David “Bear” Noble.
Noble has become a close friend to the family in the last ten days since they found out Townsend was shot in Afghanistan on September 16th.
Noble organized the veterans on motorcycles. Several groups from across the state attended, including, American Veterans Motorcycle Club, The Patriot Guard Riders of Oklahoma, and the Christian Motorcycle Association.
Vietnam veteran, Richard Gowan drove from Kansas City, Missouri to show his support to the soldier’s family.
“When I came home nobody even cared, but it's different now,” said Gowan as he reflected on his greeting home when he arrived back from Vietnam in the 1970s.
“We are the people who made this country free, and we are proud of that,” said Gowan.
He was also proud, like Noble, to see those who did not even know PFC Townsend to stand in their flag line and bring supportive signs and American Flags.
“This man gave more than any of us will ever get to give back to his family,” said Noble.
The family is asking for donations to help pay for a tombstone for their son. You can donate to RCB bank or First Bank in Claremore, and state the donation goes to PFC Jon Townsend.