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SANDWICH, MA- Body of Marine Capt. Eric Jones Returns to Cape Cod (11-04-09)

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Published on Nov 4, 2009

SANDWICH, MA- The body of Capt. Eric Jones, one of four Marines killed Oct. 26 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, was flown onto Cape Cod early this afternoon for a funeral service and burial later this week. After the plane landed at 12:15 at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Jones' flag-draped casket was escorted by an honor guard of active-duty Marines from the Sixth Motor Battalion of Providence, R.I., and placed in a waiting hearse.

About two dozen family members and friends took part in a 10-minute ceremony on the tarmac. In an emotional moment, Yarmouth Police Lt. Steven Xiarhos, whose son, Nicholas, 21, a Yarmouth native and Marine who died in July in Afghanistan, hugged Kenneth and Cynthia Jones, mother and father of Eric Jones.

As the hearse and the procession of family and friends drove away they were saluted by about 150 members of the Coast Guard, Army National Guard and Air Force 102nd Intelligence Wing who lined the roadway.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford St., Falmouth. Interment will follow immediately at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Visiting hours will be at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 74 Algonquin Ave., Mashpee, on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.

The only son of Kenneth and Cynthia Jones, the Pound Ridge, N.Y., native, had spent summers in Mashpee since 1981 and visited often, most recently in March, after his parents moved here year-round in 2005.

"He loved the Cape," his father said in a recent interview with the Times. "He loved the boating. He loved the fishing."

Jones, 29, was passionate about being a pilot and being a Marine, his father said. Jones was just two weeks away from his tour ending, his parents said.

Though his tour of duty was nearly over, Eric Jones was scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was stationed as part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169. Jones' girlfriend had moved to San Diego to be with him.

Jones was one of two people killed in Oct. 26 mid-air collision with a Massachusetts connection. Marine Capt. Kyle VanDeGiesen of Attleboro is also being mourned.

capecodonline.com

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