A Final Salute

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

The Valley buried one of its own Tuesday morning in the national cemetery devoted to military veterans.

It was a formal ceremony as friends and family said goodbye to Marine Lance Corporal Jason Redifer of Stuarts Draft.

He is the 114th soldier killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom to be buried there.

A relative said the family's mood on Tuesday was somber but also extremely proud.

Two bus loads of people made the trip from Stuarts Draft to Arlington National Cemetery to give one last salute to Jason Redifer.

They looked on as the 19-year-old was buried with full military honors, including three volleys of rifle fire and the playing of Taps.

His mother, Rhonda Winfield, was given an American flag in his honor.

Jason's Aunt said it is a burial her nephew deserves.

"It's our final farewell to Jason," said Avis Winfield. "This is something he would have wanted. It is the ultimate tribute to Jason"

A headstone marked with Redifer's name has been ordered.

The cemetery says his grave will be marked in the next few months.


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