TIFFIN - To the altar of St. Mary's Catholic Church, family and friends of Lance Cpl. Jeremy S. Shock carried symbols of what was important to the young Marine killed 10 days ago in Iraq.
His uncles presented his football jersey and a football.
His brother, Zack, and sister, Sara, carried his Tiffin University diploma.
A friend presented his Marine combat utility cap, and his wife, Clara, carried a photograph from the couple's wedding day last April.
The items represented what he had accomplished and enjoyed in his 22 years, but the Rev. David Ross, pastor at St. Mary's, told the packed church yesterday that it was not those accomplishments but the relationships he had forged that mattered most.
"Everything we own, everything we are, every rank and title we have mean nothing when we lie here. He gave his life for his friends," Father Ross said, alluding to the Gospel passage read only moments earlier.
Corporal Shock, a native of Green Springs and a 2002 Clyde High School graduate, died Nov. 19 after the Humvee he was traveling in was struck by a roadside bomb in Fallujah. Another member of the Perrysburg Township-based Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, was injured in the blast but is expected to recover.
Father Ross said Corporal Shock had been a good son, a good husband, a good friend.
"He was the guy who was always there when you needed him," he said. "He had a good sense of humor. He was polite, a hard worker, a simple, humble fellow who wanted to go to law school after he came back from Iraq. He loved his country so much he joined the Marines."
For an hour before Corporal Shock's funeral, mourners passed by his casket and paid their condolences to his wife and other family members. At a funeral home in his hometown of Green Springs, Corporal Shock's wife and mother were each presented with the Purple Heart medal Monday evening.
The Purple Heart is presented to those who are injured in combat or to the families of those killed in action.
"They're presented as a way to commend the family for the courage and the support they've had for their service member and for pride and honor," said Gunnery Sgt. Steven Kosinski, who took part in the emotional ceremony.
Sergeant Kosinski said Clara Shock had spoken to her husband just a day and a half before he died and the next day attended a memorial service in Michigan for Sgt. Bryan Burgess, another member of the 24th Marines who was killed in Iraq on Nov. 9. Ironically, he said, Corporal Shock had fired a rifle during the memorial service for Sergeant Burgess that was held the same day in Iraq.
Yesterday, rifles were fired into the air at the Green Springs Cemetery for Corporal Shock.
About 48 members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a national group of motorcyclists and others who want to show respect for fallen soldiers and their families, lined the street in front of and beside the church in Tiffin holding U.S. flags. They took up their posts again at the cemetery, standing on either side of the pathway into the graveyard as the hearse and limousine carrying family members passed.
A bagpiper played the Marine Corps Hymn as Marines carried the casket to the burial site.
Following prayers, the Marines meticulously folded the U.S. flag from Corporal Shock's casket and gave it to his family.
Clara Shock, who met Corporal Shock when they were both students at Tiffin University, spoke briefly during the funeral service, reading what she called her last letter to her husband.
"You've made me the happiest woman on Earth," she said. "You always give me support when I need it. Even when you're far away, you're here for me."
He had not failed at anything he'd done, she said, adding, "I really don't know yet what I'm going to do without you in my life."
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