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N.H. Marine’s burial draws hundreds to Boscawen

  • Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father,  Michael Garabrant, left, and sister, Mykala, second from left. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father, Michael Garabrant, left, and sister, Mykala, second from left.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • The folded American flags that will be presented to  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    The folded American flags that will be presented to Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  •  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father Michael (left) and sister Mykala (second from left). <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father Michael (left) and sister Mykala (second from left).

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • The folded American flags that will be presented to  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    The folded American flags that will be presented to Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father,  Michael Garabrant, left, and sister, Mykala, second from left. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • The folded American flags that will be presented to  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  •  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Jessie Garabrant (middle) comforts her son Jake during the 21-gun salute at the funeral for  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. In the front row is his father Michael (left) and sister Mykala (second from left). <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • The folded American flags that will be presented to  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's family are held by a Marine upon arrival to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Community members lined Route 4 near the Veterans Cemetery before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Cailin Hurrie, 6, and her brother Connor stood outside of the entrance to the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen before  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Cpl. Brandon Garabrant casket is unloaded from a fire truck before his funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Officials and dignitaries, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (center), Major Gen. William Reddel and Senator Kelly Ayotte also attended  Cpl. Brandon Garabrant's funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on Saturday afternoon, July 5, 2014. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Hundreds of mourners from across the region gathered yesterday afternoon in Boscawen for a final farewell to a Greenfield Marine – a man remembered most for his passion for service.

Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was one of three Marines killed June 20 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Earlier in the day, a memorial service in Peterborough drew thousands of mourners. Then family and friends, and current and former service members, traveled to the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery to lay Garabrant to rest.

“He is as courageous today in death as he was in life,” said the Rev. Brent Charles of the Jaffrey Bible Church, where Garabrant was a member of the church’s youth group. “He was courageous in his service to his community, and he was courageous in his service as a Marine.”

Garabrant was a combat engineer who joined the Marine Corps in March 2013 and was on his first deployment. He was conducting combat operations in Helmland province with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, according to the Marines.

He was proud of his service, Charles said. That pride showed through last year, when Garabrant made headlines for wanting to wear

his Marine uniform during graduation from ConVal Regional High School. He was told he couldn’t due to school policy, so instead he wore a Marines T-shirt under his gown.

But his loyalty also lay with his community and the local fire departments.

Not long after he returned home from boot camp, he called Temple Volunteer Fire Deputy Chief Matt Bruneau.

“I pick up the phone, and it’s Brandon saying, ‘Chief, chief, I need a pager,’ ” Bruneau said after yesterday’s ceremony. Bruneau told Garabrant to stay home and to enjoy time with his family, but the young volunteer persisted, and Bruneau eventually agreed to give him a pager to respond to calls.

“How could you say no to someone like that?” Bruneau said.

Garabrant had volunteered with the Peterborough Fire Explorer Post before he joined the Temple Volunteer Fire Department four years ago.

He was generous with his time and routinely took on any job around the station, said fire Chief George Clark.

“He would grab a broom and start sweeping. If he saw someone with a higher rank sweeping, he’d take the broom from them and tell them, ‘You’re not supposed to be doing that,’ ” said Clark. “He always wanted to help other people.”

Before his deployment, ranking members of the department told Garabrant he would always have a spot on the crew, but now members of the department will honor Garabrant by continuing to do what he did: help others.

“Do what Brandon would do,” Bruneau said. “If you took five minutes to do something good for someone else, imagine what kind of world this would be. That’s what Brandon would want.”

Yesterday, a long caravan of Garabrant’s family and friends, followed by hundreds of motorcycles carrying American flags, arrived at the veterans cemetery after 1 p.m. As bagpipers hit their first note, 10 Marines saluted Garabrant’s flag-draped casket, which was carried in by a Temple Volunteer Fire Department truck. With Garabrant’s relatives seated nearby, the Marines removed the casket and carried it to its final resting spot. Each relative placed a red rose on the casket.

An hour before Garabrant’s caravan arrived, supporters stood near the cemetery entrance waving American flags and holding signs bearing his name. Julie Hurrie drove more than an hour from Hampton Falls to show her support.

“All plans change when something like this happens,” she said.

Her 6-year-old twins, Connor and Cailin, held handmade signs. Connor’s said, “God Bless Brandon,” and Cailin’s said, “Thank you Brandon.” Hurrie said she planned to stay at the entrance until the family arrived.

“I get to raise my children in a free country, and that comes at a tremendous cost, and Brandon paid that cost for us,” Hurrie said.

(Iain Wilson can be reached at 369-3313 or iwilson@cmonitor.com.)

This just breaks my heart!! We are losing our brightest and our best young people for a loss cause. This young man, only nineteen years old, did more in service to people, than some do in a whole lifetime. Rest in peace Brandon! You will be greatly missed. Deepest sympathies to family and friends. Brandon, thank you for your service and dedication under the most difficult circumstances.

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