Submitted by: Fred ” Spike ” Schau

09-15-09-hm3-james-layton

Was a warm and sunny day, with a small breeze from the north. It was very quite in and outside of the Terminal. Modesto and Escalon are small communities, very country. So, they were trying very hard to keep their composure. Naval Corpsman 3rd Class James Ray “Doc” Layton, was tending wounds of a Marine in the Kunar Province, on september 8th, 2009. They were attacked by insurgents and both were hit and Killed.

The Aircraft was due to arrive at 1400 hrs., Fire departments and PD both arrived at the Terminal from several counties. The bikes rolled in, several groups were in attendance, My friend Craig was the Ride Captain for the PGR, who was in charge. They got all the bikes onto the tarmac and staged them. Fred Guetermann brought our WWR group up from the Tri-valley to attend. Myself, I was not able to ride, as I was assigned to the 6 man Funeral Honor Detail for the Navy.

The Flag Line was formed, the bikes staged, Fire & PD stood with us. The Layton Family then came out and stood by all of us together. The aircraft arrived on time, it taxied up to us and parked. The flag Line came to attention, we marched up to the aircraft, and stood by. Now, many years I have stood at airports for our fallen. But, this was the first time, I stood plane side to receive my fallen Brother. As, our brother was lowered down to us, all hands rendered a hand salute. We carried our brother to his coach and placed him inside. We then marched back and got ready for the trip to Escalon. Their were at least 12 PD motors to help. As we rode down the streets, everybody stopped and saluted and or placed their hands on their hearts.

We got to the funeral home and we removed our fallen brother from his coach and carried him inside and placed him at his place. We then rendered honors and left. The following thursday was his actual funeral, we returned to the cemetery and waited. The bikes all staged at the Funeral Home for the escort, we heard the sirens in the distance, we were at attention as the Coach pulled up. As the bikes and all the guests were parking, due to the small cemetery, we waited. The funeral director then slowly opened the coach door, we proceeded to remove our fallen hero and carry him to his final resting place. The Flag line encircled the entire area. The Navy Chaplain gave a final prayer, the Rifle Team readied, and gave the 3 volleys. I had the Honor of taking care of Taps, The Flag was Folded and the Navy Admiral presented. Farewell my brother. Your Watch is now Over.

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