OC SHERIFFS – Marine Mourned by Hundreds of Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
LAKE FOREST – Hundreds of firefighters and law enforcement officers on Tuesday waved flags from freeway bridges from Los Alamitos to Laguna Hills saluting a procession carrying the remains of Cpl. Christopher G. Singer, a Marine killed in Afghanistan on Jan. 21.
The procession of more than 200 vehicles followed a Hero Mission – a ceremony that marks the return of an American service member killed in action – at the Joint Forces Training Base at Los Alamitos.
Singer’s family – including his wife, Brooke, 21, his father, Greg Singer, and his mother, Marlene Shaw – was escorted to the plane as the coffin was lowered.
More than 500 people stood on the tarmac and paid their respects. Honoring Our Fallen, a nonprofit group, will give Singer’s 2-year-old daughter, Briyana, birthday and Christmas gifts until she is 18, said founder Laura Herzog.
Singer, 23, was killed while conducting operations in the Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Twentynine Palms-based 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, an element of Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division. Singer was born in San Diego and grew up in Lake Forest and Temecula.
“There are no words to express how my son was taken care of,” said Greg Singer of Lake Forest.
Singer said his son dreamed of becoming a Marine since he was a boy. He joined the Marines in 2007 and deployed for the first time in September 2011, specializing in construction and demolition.
“One of the hardest things in my life will be to lay my husband and the father of my child to rest but I know he died doing something he loved so very much,” said Brooke Singer.
“You will always be in my heart and mind,” Marlene Shaw said of her son. “I will never forget what you have done to protect our family and our country.”
Singer’s family was overwhelmed by the community outpouring and expressed awe as the procession drove along Katella Avenue leaving the military base. The street was lined with community members, shop owners and professionals from nearby offices. Children from Mayflower Preschool held flags and signs.
Law enforcement from many Orange County cities joined in the caravan to O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills.
A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at Saddleback Church, 1 Saddleback Parkway in Lake Forest. The memorial is open to the public. Singer will be buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.
Filed under: Military
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