SAN DIEGO - A Coronado-based Navy explosives technician killed in a bomb blast in northern Iraq was laid to rest Tuesday at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego.
Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, of Anaheim, died Oct. 20 during an offensive to dislodge Islamic State forces from the city of Mosul. He left behind a wife and 7-year-old son.
Crowds stood along the streets waving flags as Finan's body was driven from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Coronado to the cemetery to show respect for his service and sacrifice.
Navy retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Greg Vincent took part in the procession. The Vietnam veteran did not have a homecoming.
"I lost some friends [and was] treated like dirt," Vincent said.
As a Patriot Guard Rider, Vincent stands for those who stood for us, and would not miss a chance to honor Finan.
Finan's bravery knew no bounds as an Explosive Ordnace Disposal Sailor. He was highly skilled and well-decorated, having earned 18 awards.
"You see the family, the kids … the tears in their eyes," Vincent explained. "It's never easy. A little bit of heartburn, a little bit of pain, crying a little bit, but it continues. I don't think it's ever going to stop."
He will not stop paying his respects. He has ridden a couple hundred missions, and each one is etched in his heart.
"He'll never be forgotten," Vincent said about Finan. "I know I'll never forget him."
Finan was laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery.