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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Poetic departure

As humorist Garrison Keillor says, “It is a shame to miss one’s own funeral…all those nice comments…and to come so close…to miss it by just a few days!”

One man missed his funeral by minutes.

A lovely story of husband and wife ~ united forever.

(S-R archive photo)

Slight Detour: Forever Young

In a poignant post on her Slight Detour blog today, Marianne Love discusses an encounter with former Sandpoint High student Harvey Martin at Harvey's 1982 class reunion — a man she describes as a “jokester with a good heart.” Harvey is the father of soldier Ethan Martin, who was killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. She writes: “It was May.  We were both shopping at a local store.  We took time to do some catch-up on kids and life. Harvey was busting his buttons that day with the news that his daughter was graduating from the University of Idaho.  She would be a teacher. We also talked about his son Ethan. A proud father he was, for sure.  I walked away from that conversation so proud and happy for Harvey. None of us on this day can come close to comprehending the sadness the Martin family is feeling as they bring their hero home to his final resting place. I do know one thing, though.  Harvey and the family are being sustained by the outpouring of love extended by so many throughout the North Idaho community and through Facebook posts.” Complete post here.

Question: Is there a fallen soldier or Marine in your life who remains forever young?

NIdaho Soldier’s Body Returns Home

KXLY provides this photo on its Facebook wall of the mourners along the road who greeted the return of fallen soldier Ethan Martin's body on its way back to Bonners Ferry this morning.

A North Idaho soldier killed in action in Afghanistan last week returned home Friday for the final time. Spc. Ethan Martin will be laid to rest Saturday at Paradise Valley Cemetery in Bonners Ferry. Spc. Martin's remains arrived in Sandpoint Friday on a charter plane from Dover Air Force Base. The Honorable Transfer ceremony marks the return of the soldier to his family. After the ceremony, Spc. Martin's body was brought to Bonners Ferry in a motorcade, with citizens lining the streets with flags to pay tribute. Spc. Martin's life will be celebrated with a public memorial service Saturday at 1:00 at Bonners Ferry High School. He'll then be laid to rest in a ceremony that is open to the public. 22-year old Martin joined the Army in 2009/KXLY. More here.

Thoughts?

Account Set Up For Soldier’s Funeral

An account has been set up to help the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan with funeral expenses. Spc. Ethan J. Martin, 22, (pictured) died Aug. 7 in Koragay, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered enemy small-arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Ethan Martin Memorial Fund. Martin’s funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bonners Ferry High School. A ceremony with full military honors will follow at Paradise Valley CemeteryBonner County Bee. More here.

Hundreds honor fallen firefighter

Hundreds of firefighters and dozens of firetrucks, hotshot crew carriers and other fire apparatus accompanied the funeral procession today for fallen Boise firefighter Caleb Hamm, 24, who died July 7 while fighting a fire near Mineral Wells, Texas. His funeral is at 11 a.m. today at the Doubletree Riverside, followed by a private interment; here's a link to his obituary.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to the Wildland Fallen Firefighters Foundation (2049 Airport Way, Boise, ID 83705) or Caleb Hamm Memorial Fund at any Mountain West Bank.