Familyand Friends Honor Fallen Marine

1 decade 1 year 3 months ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:37:15 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

U.S. flags waved in the wind to honor the 19-year-old Marine who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on May 6.

"He was everybody's best friend. You couldn't think of anything about him that he ever did to annoy you or anything. You just couldn't help but love him."

They remembered Deraps not only as a Marine, but also as Eagle scout, son, brother, uncle and friend. Classmates Brandon Cook and Josh Ennis are building a memorial in his honor, but they're still in shock from their friend's death.

"It's unreal, you can't believe it. When we heard it, we just didn't want to believe it. And still, it doesn't even seem true."

Cook and Ennis said they won't ever forget him.

"He's so funny, and so fun to be around," said another friend, Autumn Bolinger. "And it's just going to be hard without him."

Brother-in-law Terry Cassil remembered "Leon was always smiling, and anyone he ever met, he left a good taste in their mouth."

Niece Hallie Cassil added, "He loved his family very much."

Leon's brother, Cedar, said, "We're pretty proud of him. He decided that's what he wanted to do, and he was out doing his job."

Services for Marine Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps will be Monday, May 15.

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