Mount Vernon Mourns Loss of Army Sargeant

Funeral services are scheduled today in Mount Vernon for Army Sargeant Benjamin Laymon. Laymon was killed in combat last month in Iraq.

Sargeant Laymon’s body was returned to Mount Vernon during the week-end. He was killed in south Baghdad on June 24th by an improvised explosive device His father, Jim Laymon, mourned the loss of his son as he helped make arrangements. “For 22 years old, he had plans when his tour or his time in the service was up, which would have been about a year from this coming September. He planned on, he said he wanted to get out and start a family. Says Jim Laymon.

Sargeant Laymon joined the military after graduating from Mount Vernon High School where he played football. But, Jim Laymon says his son knew early-on that he wanted to serve in the military. “He was the type of person that if you met him you wouldn’t think he wanted to go in the army and be in combat. After he told me he wanted to be in the army, about the seventh or eighth grade, I asked him whether he was planning on going to college or not, that’s what he told me. I thought he might change his mind by the time he graduated, but he never did.” Says Jim Laymon.

Mount Vernon Mayor, Richard Mavis lowered flags to half-staff for 24 hours during the week-end as Sargeant Laymon’s body was returned to his hometown. Mavis says the military funeral comes at a time when the community is also marking the national 4th of July holiday. “I think it does bring home, and I don’t know that we could say that you go out on the fourth of July and people won’t be cheering and enjoying the fireworks as much as they would other times. But, I think, at the same time, in their minds, they’ll know that the ability to stand there in a free country and watch fireworks celebrating a country that’s well over 200 years old now that that freedom was earned by people and in this case Sargeant Laymon is one of the people who really paid, paid the price.” Says Mavis.

22 year old Sargeant Benjamin Laymon will be buried in Mount Vernon with military honors. Tom Borgerding, W-O-S-U News.