Hundreds Line The Streets to Honor Fallen Midland Marine

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A Midland Marine is back home after making the ultimate sacrifice. PFC. Josue Ibarra died during combat in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of people lined the roads from the Midland International Airport all the way into downtown Midland to honor him.

Of the hundreds from the community who watched the procession go by, there were a few in the crowds who know all too well what the Ibarra family is experiencing.

They wanted to honor the fallen Marine and let his family know they're not alone.

"He's a hero just like the rest of them from the Permian Basin," one observer said.

A hero whose service for our Country will never be forgotten.

On Tuesday afternoon, PFC. Josue Ibarra came back to his home in Midland.

Ibarra passed away while conducting combat operations June 19th in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of West Texans lined the streets to pay their respects to the fallen Marine.

Jerry Bevel was one of them.

"Brings back memories," he said. "I wish we didn't have to do anymore of these." Bevel lost his son, CPL. Ray Bevel, back in 2007.

"They go over there and fight for our freedom and do it willingly," he said. "Nothing's going to make it better but at least with all the people that turn out, at least it feels like it wasn't in vain."

Marci West and Denise Garza also had sons killed in Afghanistan. They came to honor Ibarra as well.

"I want to honor their son because my son got honored in so many ways," West said. "It's really hard because I know their pain but I figure it's my duty to do this."

"I know he's with our sons right now so thank you for what you've done," Garza said.

All three parents said coming out to the procession was the least they could do to honor Ibarra and say thanks. They also said the turnout from the community is moving.

"Their son will never be forgotten just like ours will never be forgotten," Garza said.

"I can't say enough about them," West said. "They're our heroes, each and every one of them."

They hope Ibarra's family knows the community will be behind them from here on out.

"It's a hard road, just be there for each other and stick together," Bevel said.

"We love them, they're part of our family now and we're here for them," Garza said.

There will be a wake service on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Abundant Living Christian Center. PFC. Ibarra will be laid to rest Thursday at 11 a.m.