Marine Keeps Re-enlistment Promise To Fallen Valley Marine

A Marine Sergeant{} re-enlisted in the service Saturday next to the grave of a fallen comrade in Visalia.{} It was a solemn and emotional ceremony as Jonathan Diehm kept a pact he made with Corporal Jared Verbeek.

"He touched a lot of people and inspired a lot of people." Sgt. Jonathan Diehm made a pact with Jared Verbeek when they first met at a Marine base in Missouri.{} Both planned careers in the Marine Corps and they promised to always attend each other's re-enlistment.

"Be it known that Sgt. Jonathan Diehm has been accepted for re-enlistment in the United States Marine Corps.{} Travis Verbeek, Jared's father made the official announcement at Visalia Cemetery.{} Also there to witness the ceremony was Jared's wife and family.{} "It really means a lot to me and my family as far as these Marine's coming out here and wanting to pay tribute to him by doing this re-enlistment ceremony at his grave site."

Corporal Verbeek was killed in the war in Afghanistan on June 21st, 2011.{} Jared and Jonathan were friends and fellow marines for just three years but there was a bond created from day one.{} "I chose to bring it to him because he was just more than a brother, he was more than just a Marine to me. {} Back in 2008 we always talked about how we wanted to re-enlist together.

Not too far from Visalia cemetery is the Jared Verbeek Memorial over crossing, a bridge that travels over Highway 198 that honors a hero from Visalia who died fighting for his country.