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Farewell to Donald Jones, who served his country
Donald Jones was 72 and a US Army veteran
By Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News Staff
Published: January 8, 2015, 4:54 pm Updated: January 8, 2015, 6:06 pm
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — When he died after a struggle with leukemia last month, there was some concern Army veteran Donald Jones might be buried alone after no immediate family came forward.
Through the efforts of the Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, the 72-year-old was laid to rest today with friends in attendance weeks after he died December 18.
Accompanied by a rolling honor guard in a missing man formation, Patriot Riders escorted the Vietnam veteran to his final resting place at Willamette National Cemetery.
Patriot Riders carried his coffin wrapped in an American flag. The flag draped over Jones’ coffin was folded up in an official military ceremony and given to one of his childhood friends, Roger Wampler.
“We were worried he wouldn’t get a ceremony of any kind and this is very nice,” Wampler said. “It makes me feel good.”
At the funeral, people spoke of how Jones loved golf. As kids growing up in Southeast Portland, Jones and Wampler would sneak into the Eastmoreland Golf Course driving range after hours and hit balls. Another childhood friend, fellow golfer Ken Hattan told KOIN 6 News the last time they played was on Veterans Day in november.
“Don wasn’t able to play with us,” Hattan said. “He hit a couple balls and then pretty much rode around with us. That was good for him. He couldn’t play but he still got out with us and played with us.”
Jones was buried as some childhood friends attended, plus other friends he never knew he had.
“Never met him before,” said Sandy Logan. “I was in the tail end of Vietnam. We were in different branches of Vietnam, but it’s still pretty sad because we’re losing our veterans pretty rapidly these days.”
He served his time in this life and served his country. His friends and his fellow service members bid farewell to Donald Carl Jones.