Help honor an American hero

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

The citizens of Wakefield and surrounding neighbors have rolled up their sleeves and jumped in to help a local family that suffered the loss of Sgt. Jayton Patterson, USMC, who answered the call and gave his life for his country.

Concerned citizens from across the Tidewater area have joined this small town, of approximately 2,000 to show an entire nation, &uot;Freedom isn’t Free,&uot; on May 7.

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Wakefield will become the destination for a memorial ride and event to raise money for this fallen Marine hero’s 15-month-old daughter, &uot;Claire Michelle Patterson’s Trust Fund.&uot;

Wakefield’s Municipal Ball Park and Airfield located on US 460 will greet people from all over Virginia and her neighbors, North Carolina and Maryland, in demonstrating their support and gratitude for our nation’s defenders with an entire day of festive music, displays of vintage war birds (fighter planes – one will be giving rides); local crafts, food, and a variety of merchandise vendors will enlighten and feed the masses. The ball park will be the destination of a massive motorcycle parade leaving from Tidewater Motorcycles Inc. 4324 Godwin Blvd. (Rt.# 10) Suffolk.

Jayton Patterson was your typical country boy and American patriot. He grew up in a Christian home, shared his beliefs and views of our country with anyone who cared to stand and chat a while. People, who came to know Jayton well, knew him as an ideal American youth who loved his country and fellow man.

Jayton, after graduation from high school, joined the Marines.

He was fortunate to bear the insignia of the elite force, &uot;Marine One,&uot; whose duties are to protect the president of the United States.

Jayton had the honor, in line of duty, to accompany President Bush to the Pentagon and later New York City, just after 9-11 to survey the destruction. The sights he witnessed first hand instilled in him the call to duty. He requested a transfer to become a combat Marine delivering justice to those who violated our nation on that dark day we all will never forget.


achieved and was awarded several commendations while serving in Iraq, and ultimately he gave his life. His tour was to end just after the Iraqi elections, which would set the Iraqi people free from an oppressive regime. Jayton came home early to a mourning family and community.

America needs to awaken and realize that its military men and women are our guardians of defense and saviors of freedom. These extraordinary people fill a job few are willing to, risking life and limb for fellow citizens of our nation. Wakefield Virginia, United States of America knows, &uot;freedom isn’t free.&uot;

Pick Lyman