Hundreds pay their respects to fallen sailor returned to Madison County

(Courtesy: US Navy)

Hundreds of people lined Main Street in West Jefferson Tuesday afternoon to honor a Central Ohio sailor who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The body of 21-year-old Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake was carried by a procession surrounded by police and sheriff's deputies from John Glenn International Airport through West Jefferson to the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home.

People waved flags and wiped tears as Drake, one of ten US sailors who died last month when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker, passed by.

"Freedom isn't free, the rest of us take advantage of that," said Elaine LeFrance, who stood in the rainy conditions to salute the sailor.

Loved ones and friends say the North Lewisburg man enlisted in the Navy right after graduation from Triad High School.

"Anybody that gives their all for the country deserves as good as we can give them," said Fred LaFrance.

Drake's public visitation is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Funeral services with military honors begins at 2 p.m. at the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home in West Jefferson.

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