Procession Thursday to honor Marine who died while swimming

Procession honors Marine who died while swimming
Source: Jonathon Crawford's Facebook page
Source: Jonathon Crawford's Facebook page
Source: Jonathon Crawford's Facebook page
Source: Jonathon Crawford's Facebook page
Source: Amelia High School
Source: Amelia High School
(Source: Nurre Funeral Home)
(Source: Nurre Funeral Home)

(FOX19) - Funeral arrangements have been set for a local Marine who died in South Carolina while swimming.

The body of PFC Jonathon Crawford will arrive at CVG on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.. There will be a processional from the airport that will proceed to Interstate 275 to the Beechmont Avenue/Amelia exit, then travel eastbound down SR 125 to the Nurre Funeral Home on W. Main Street in Amelia. The procession is expected to arrive at the funeral home at 5:15 p.m.

Citizens are encouraged to line the procession route to honor PFC Crawford.

Visitation will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Nurre Funeral Home with the funeral immediately following.

PFC Crawford, 19, died Friday evening while swimming in South Carolina. He had just graduated boot camp on Parris Island Friday morning.

A gathering at Amelia High School on Monday included ceremonial lowering of the flag to half-staff and a memorial.

PFC Crawford was last seen swimming about 40 yards from the beach, just south of the lighthouse, according to Lady's Island St. Helena fire district spokesperson Lee Levesque.

After losing sight of him, a family member called 911.

"They decided to stay over for the weekend and enjoy the beach and they were out swimming and got caught in a rip current and it swept them all off their feet," said Col. Neil Baxley, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. "They were struggling to get on their feet and the young man was unable to regain his balance before the rip current pulled him out and pulled him under."

The body was recovered around 5:25 p.m.

"It's tough on everyone," said Baxley. "A lot of us are former Marines ourselves and here's a young man who is willing to serve his country, volunteer to serve his country and the very first day he gets the opportunity to start that career, his life is shortened."

Monday morning his fellow Marines placed the American flag at half staff at Amelia High School as a symbol of respect.

"His sole dream was to become a United States Marine," said SSGT Kenneth Jacob.

PFC Crawford knew he wanted to be a Marine his junior year of high school. He graduated from Amelia in 2012 and immediately started boot camp.

"To really see him find a passion, to want to join the Marines, to really come into his own as a young has been nothing but a pleasure to see him grow up," said English teacher Bobbi Combs.

Combs was described as an exemplary recruit and graduated as a Private First Class while several of his classmates finished as Privates.

Beaufort County sheriff's deputies are investigating the drowning.

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