Visitation for Milford soldier held today

Spec. Jacob Dohrenwend
Spec. Jacob Dohrenwend

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

MILFORD, OH (FOX19) - Friday night, it was time to say goodbye, as a community honors a fallen solider. And his only surviving brother talks exclusively to FOX19.

Reporter Stefano DiPietrantonio was there, as people lined-up to pay their respects for Jacob Dohrenwend. The community has wrapped it's arms around Dohrenwend's family. From friends to complete strangers, people turned-out by the dozens, to show their pride and to thank him for his service to our country.

And for Jacob's little brother Jack, he's got a lot on his shoulders right now.

"Right now I'm trying to be strong pretty much for the rest of the family," said Jack Dohrenwend. "I understand there will be a time and a place for when I will have my chance to grieve but right now my mom needs the strength of the rest of the family."

As Jacob's only brother soldiers-on. "It's just me now," he said.

Jacob would be proud of his brother's composure.

"I'm 13," he said. "13? That's a lot of weight for a 13-year-old to have to shoulder." "Yeah, but it's important," Dohrenwend said.

It's important he said, to see their mother through this.

"It's hard it really is," Dohrenwend said. "It's, I mean, you have two kids and now an only child so it really is extremely hard for the entire family."

Family and friends hold onto each other and welcome the embrace of an entire community.

"I think it's really great," he said. "It really shows how much he affected the community and how much the community cares."

Everywhere you look there are yellow ribbons and flags lining the streets around the Great Hall of the Milford First United Methodist Church.

"There's a lot of emotions, there's happiness, sorrow, anger," said Bob Woods, State Captain of the Ohio Patrol Guard Riders.

20-year-old Army Specialist Jacob Dohrenwend was killed last week in Iraq, from what the military called a non-combat related incident.

"It's not unusual in a non-combat related death that they don't jump to conclusions right away," Woods said.

"They have pretty much just said that there's an ongoing investigation," Dohrenwend said. "That's all we're allowed to pretty much know but, I'm not angry at anyone, all I know is my brother's dead, I'm just sad at the moment."

"I was 19 year-old when I was in Vietnam," Woods said.

Veteran Bob Woods said the pressure now on the military is greater than ever.

"To be pulling the multiple tours that they're pulling gosh it speaks volumes for these guys and gals," Woods said.

The 4th of July is a big deal around the Dohrenwend house. Jacob's birthday is July 9th.

"They would tell him the 4th of July was celebrating his birthday," his brother said. Jacob would have been 21.

"And he's already been a patriotic person, he's always loved his country," he said.

It's a country he fought for, a country he died for. Jack said he will speak tomorrow on behalf of his brother.

"I'm, just gonna talk about how he was my best friend," Dohrenwend said. "He protected me, he was my brother."

A "Celebration of Jacob Dohrenwend's Life" is Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Milford. Services begin at 10am.

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