Marine Keeps Re-enlistment Promise To Fallen Valley Marine - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Marine Keeps Re-enlistment Promise To Fallen Valley Marine

VISALIA, Calif. (KMPH) -

A Marine Sergeant  re–enlisted in the service Saturday next to the grave of a fallen comrade in Visalia.  It was a solemn and emotional ceremony as Jonathan Diehm kept a pact he made with Corporal Jared Verbeek.

"He touched a lot of people and inspired a lot of people." Sgt. Jonathan Diehm made a pact with Jared Verbeek when they first met at a Marine base in Missouri.  Both planned careers in the Marine Corps and they promised to always attend each other's re–enlistment.

"Be it known that Sgt. Jonathan Diehm has been accepted for re–enlistment in the United States Marine Corps.  Travis Verbeek, Jared's father made the official announcement at Visalia Cemetery.  Also there to witness the ceremony was Jared's wife and family.  "It really means a lot to me and my family as far as these Marine's coming out here and wanting to pay tribute to him by doing this re–enlistment ceremony at his grave site."

Corporal Verbeek was killed in the war in Afghanistan on June 21st, 2011.  Jared and Jonathan were friends and fellow marines for just three years but there was a bond created from day one.  "I chose to bring it to him because he was just more than a brother, he was more than just a Marine to me.   Back in 2008 we always talked about how we wanted to re–enlist together.

Not too far from Visalia cemetery is the Jared Verbeek Memorial over crossing, a bridge that travels over Highway 198 that honors a hero from Visalia who died fighting for his country.

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