More than 1,000 people showed up Wednesday night at Corning East High School to pay their respects to fallen Army Specialist Ryan Jayne. Jayne's body flew in Tuesday morning and a procession took him to Carpenter's Funeral Home in Corning. Our Katie Husband was at the military service and spoke with those who knew him, and came out to pay their respects.
CORNING, N.Y. -- "When I knew him he was great," said PO3 Chris Donahue U.S. Navy Reserves.
Thousands of people showed up to pay their respects and share their own personal memories of Specialist Ryan Jayne Wednesday night.
"I was walking to school one time and it was cold out and he picked me up. And this was before I really knew him that well and he just gave me a ride. That right there shows a lot about a person. He was a really rugged kid, really tough kid but at the same time he had a great heart," said Donahue.
The community gathered at Corning East High School's auditorium to say goodbye to Jayne. Which has been difficult for both the family and military personnel.
"This week has been tough because my bigger command based out of Watertown, New York lost three soldiers and so this hit us hard because they didn't have that much longer left in country. We were looking forward to seeing them again," said Capt. Karl Waelder, U.S. Reserves Company Commander, 680th Engineer.
When they received news of Jayne's death, it was almost too much to handle.
"When it happened we were just shocked and stunned. We had soldiers who grew up with him, we had two soldiers who were particularly close to him and they all joined together. As all of us were shocked because we just lost a family member," said Waelder.
But some realize this, unfortunately, is a part of the military life.
"This is the first time I've known somebody so it kind of does hit home, this certain situation. But, all emotions aside, personals aside, it's still good to step up and do my duties," said Donahue.
And for a military family they must be ready for anything.
"I know the family especially on the reserves side don't always know what theIr family members do. I know my family always wonders what I do and to bring it home in this event it becomes all too real for all of us," said Waelder.
For many, Jayne will be remembered for being a good kid with a good heart.