The Associated Press
ORICK - U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob Garrett Grafflin, Orick, is being honored by the third annual Freedom Ride before being deployed to Iraq for one year.
The Freedom Ride begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Phoenix, Ore., south of Medford, Ore.Both Bikes and cars are welcome to join this four-hour round-trip ride to the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden in Weed. A barbeque will follow.
The Freedom Ride was started by Lee Carr of Grants Pass, Ore., to commemorate her brother who was killed in the Vietnam War.
Last year 368 participated, this year organizers expect 500. A group photo will be taken at the memorial garden with a tribute to Grafflin. A video will be made as the caravan passes through the Siskiyou Mountains.
Grafflin is the son of Gail Vaughn of Orick and Ron Grafflin of Aragon, Ga., and is a 2004 McKinleyville High School graduate. He enlisted in the Marines while still in high school, following in the footsteps of his dad who was a Vietnam era Marine Sargent, and his sister, Andria Grafflin-Schmidt who spent five years in the Army as an air traffic controller.
Grafflin went to boot camp in San Diego before training in Pensacola, Fla. as an Aviation Radar Technician and then to Cherry Point, N.C. MALS-14 Dragons Unit Marine Corps. Air Station where he has worked on all kinds of electronic components.
To reserve tickets for the Freedom Ride barbecue, call 541-479-6905.