Marine reenlists at the grave of his buddy killed in Afghanistan
When Marine Sgt. Jonathan Diehm decided to sign up for another hitch, he wanted his enlistment ceremony to take place somewhere with special meaning.
So he chose the gravesite in Visalia of his buddy Lance Cpl. Jared Verbeek, killed by a roadside bomb in June 2011 while on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Verbeek, 22, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton.
Diehm and Verbeek used to talk about their life goals and about staying in the Marine Corps.
"I want to continue my career for the both of us," Diehm, 23, told the Visalia Times-Delta.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Sgt. Jonathan Diehm embraces Travis Verbeek after his reenlistment ceremony Saturday at the gravesite of Verbeek's son, Jared. Credit: Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta