Family, friends gather at funeral for fallen Marine from Willis

February 1, 2012 4:39:46 PM PST
Hundreds came out in Montgomery County Wednesday to honor a Willis Marine killed in action.

Corporal Joseph Daniel Logan, 22, died in a helicopter crash while deployed in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, friends, family and even strangers showed their support for the sacrifices the Marine made.

It was an emotional day as people packed the North Montgomery County Community Center at 600 Gerald St. to remember the young Marine who they are calling a hometown hero.

As a procession slowly moved through the streets of Willis, many people stood by taking time to honor Marine Cpl. Logan.

"He paid his dues for us, and this is what we want to do for him," veteran Justin Hamaker said.

Hundreds of strangers and friends lined sidewalks across this small town waving flags, a small sign of respect for the young Marine who died in Afghanistan.

"This guy sacrificed his life for our country. He's fighting for my freedom, your freedom. So we're out here to support him and his family," Willis resident Scott Brown said.

This community was devastated learning the Willis High School grad died in a helicopter crash on January 19. He was in Afghanistan's Helmand province on his second deployment.

"If you don't respect what people are doing for you, then you must not have respect for yourself. They are out there fighting for us to do what we're doing and stand out here and show support is because we have freedom," resident Allie Blair said.

As close friends made their way toward the funeral service, they gathered knowing a radical church group from Kansas threatened to protest Logan's funeral but officers on constant watch said that group never showed up. This emotional moment became an educational experience for more than 600 children from C.C. Hardy Elementary next door, as they held small US flags in memory of their small-town hero.

"I could think of no other, no other person that would be a better example to our kids than a man that is serving this country and died in the line of duty," Willis ISD superintendent Dr. Bret Jemerson said.

Cpl. Logan received numerous awards and honors for his service in the Marines. Those who knew him describe him as friendly and trustworthy.