Peterborough

Salute to Brandon Garabrant

Marine killed in roadside bombing welcomed home

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PETERBOROUGH — Firefighters from Peterborough and Jaffrey and nearly 100 area residents stood at attention on Concord Street on Saturday as a hearse carrying the body of Corporal Brandon Garabrant was slowly driven to the Jellison Funeral Home.

Garabrant, a Marine from Greenfield who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 20, was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal following his death. His body was flown by charter jet on Saturday morning from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, where the flag-draped casket was transferred by a squad of Marines into the hearse. Then police cruisers from Peterborough and Londonderry led a procession to Peterborough, followed by fire engines from Temple, where Garabrant had been a volunteer firefighter, and Peterborough, where he had been in a firefighter Explorer program, and a long line of motorcycles ridden by members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer group that at the request of the family participates in memorial services for soldiers who have died in action.

Local people joined the Patriot Guard Riders to hold American flags on either side of the driveway into the funeral home, where the hearse was backed into a garage and the casket unloaded in private by the Marines.

Olivia Adams, a 15-year-old Peterborough resident who held one of the flags, said she had worked with Garabrant at Touchstone Farm in Temple.

“He was a really nice kid,” she said, wiping away a tear. “If you needed him to help, he’d be right there. He’d always do what was needed, with a willing heart.”

Calling hours for Garabrant will be held Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at ConVal High School. A funeral service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m., also at ConVal, with burial to follow at the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

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