Poway residents stood in an honor line Thursday morning to pay tribute to a local Marine.
Lance Corporal Jason Hill, 20, died from injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan on June 11. He graduated from Abraxas High School in Poway in 2008.
Poway Mayor Don Higginson urged residents to line up along Poway Road, near Poway Bernardo Mortuary Thursday morning to pay their respects to Hill. Many also attended the service, which was held at Maranatha Chapel on 10752 Coastwood Rd. in San Diego.
"I'm not going to say he didn't lead a full life because he did," Hill's father, Charles Donald Hill said at the service. He described his son as "productive, positive, joyful and honorable."
"Today he is guarding the gates of heaven," he added.
Hill's brother Aaron, also a Lance Corporal, called his brother "an amazing marine brother and friend."
Hill's third grade teacher, Mary Foote, also spoke at the service. She said Hill dressed up in fatigues in third grade because he wanted to be a Marine when he grew up.
The Patriot Guard Riders, a group of riders who attend the funerals of fallen military personnel, attended the honor line. They prepared to shield mourning family and friends from an anticipated anti-military protest, according to an email forum on the group’s website.
The PGR escorted Hill’s casket from MCAS Miramar to Poway on Saturday and saluted the Marine. A public viewing was held Wednesday evening at the Poway-Bernardo Mortuary.