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Bikers pay tribute to fallen Jackson Marine

FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI) - Dozens of bikers cruised to the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel Friday morning.

The bikers then powered on to Jackson to pay homage to fallen Marine Rylee McCollum. You can watch the procession below.

McCollum was one of 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26.

"It is one of the biggest honors that we could have," said veteran Jim Rice. "Escorting a fellow soldier to his final resting place, and being there in unity with all of our brothers and sisters who are here. I couldn't ask for a higher honor than to escort him where he needs to be."

Bob Jackson says he saw an invite to the ride on Facebook, and couldn't pass up the opportunity. 

"I am a fellow veteran, and so I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day.”

Jackson says what means most to him is to give McCollum the send off he deserved. 

"I feel a responsibility to welcome him home properly and bring him home to his family."

McCollum's loss is being felt throughout many communities.

"It's not just the town that is feeling this loss," said veteran Ian Freeman. 'It’s from all over the place. I'm from Boise, and rode over, and I know people that came from Cheyenne and from South Dakota and from Colorado."

Freeman says the long journey is the least he could do, a small token to pay tribute to those who have given everything.

"All of the soldiers we've lost in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the global war on terrorism, it's a heavy price," Freeman said.

But that heavy price will never be forgotten. 

"We can never forget the things that have happened, but we also must honor the ones that have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Rice said.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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