STANFORD - A hero--and a man who chased his lifelong dream
That's how hundreds of people are remembering fallen Marine and Hopedale native Reid Nannen.
The 32-year-old was killed in a fighter jet crash, while training in Nevada, earlier this month.
He leaves behind a wife and four children, one a baby girl, he never got to meet.
He leaved his family.
And a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Hundreds of people.
Hundreds of tears.
Hundreds of flags.
All to remember, one man.
“It’s very humbling and we're very, very grateful for everyone. Our Hopedale family, and our Olympia community, this is just the most generous thing anyone could give us…is their presence," says Nannen’s sister, Bethany Nannen-Miller.
Nannen hadn't been around his hometown for a decade.
But it's clear, his community remembers.
“This is his hometown and this is where he's from and people remember him. It's wonderful to know our service men and women are being honored this way,” says sister, Briana Nannen.
This hero was chasing his dream.
“Not only did he follow his dream and make it come true. He's one of the top in his field. Not every pilot gets to go to top gun and he did. And that was his dream,” Briana adds.
A dream that took him from captain to major…scheduled for the promotion just days after he was killed in training in Nevada, the marines gave Nannen a higher ranking, posthumously.
An honor for a man taken from this world and this family, far too soon.
“It’s just devastating, that when someone loves you and you love them back, they're gone forever and you can't see them again,” explains his niece Madeline Miller.
Now, that Major Nannen is gone.
Those who loved him and knew him best, are clinging to what made him Reid.
“My favorite thing is that he was fun and he's always been there," remembers Madeline.
“He always made us laugh," sister, Bethany adds.
Clinging to all he was, to help them continue to carry on and carry out his spirit.
“I’m proud of him because he was always himself. He was quirky and weird and funny and strange and inappropriate at times, most of the time. But he was wonderful, kid, always."
Funeral services are at Eastview Christian Church tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Major Nannen will be buried in Springfield at Camp Butler National Cemetery.