Funeral For Lance Corporal Aaron M. Swanson

February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 14, 2011 at 6:08 PM EDT

By WKBW News

February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 14, 2011 at 6:08 PM EDT

JAMESTOWN, NY ( WKBW / Jamestown Post Journal) The Funeral for a hometown hero who gave his life for his country was held at 11 a.m. Monday in Christ First United Methodist Church in Chautauqua County.

Burial followed in Soldier's Circle of Lake View Cemetery.

Lance Corporal Aaron M. Swanson, 21, of 108 Oakland Ave., Lakewood, died Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, India Company.

He was born Aug. 10, 1989, in Jamestown, a son of and Gene and Julie Abers Swanson and Michelle Buckley Ford.

While serving in Afghanistan, Aaron received several awards and decorations including the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the NATO Medal International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan.

Prior to joining the Marines in May of 2009, he graduated from Southwestern Central School in 2007, where he participated in track and field and played on the football team. He was also a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 131.

Aaron's several years of participation in Boy Scouts instilled in him a firm foundation of values. The strongest of which was allegiance to our country. This foundation served him well in his preparation for ser-vice as a Marine. As a Marine, Aaron developed a relationship with God that allowed him to live without fear or doubt for his salvation.

Aaron lived his life to the fullest, smiled broadly, laughed wholeheartedly and loved endlessly. His joy in life was to always be surrounded by his family and friends. His smile and love of sharing good times brought happiness to all of the lives he touched.

Aaron will forever be remembered as a loving and devoted son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend who lived his life for his family and country.

Surviving besides his parents of Lakewood, and his birth mother of Ellington, are siblings: Luke Swanson, Torianna and Kiersten Bekoscke and Benjamin Swanson, all of Lakewood, and Nathan and Andrew Ford of Ellington; grandfathers: Stuart Swanson and Lawrence Abers, both of Jamestown. Also, surviving are grandmothers Margaret Abers and Linda Warren.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Sandra Swanson; and his, grandfather James Buckley.

Memorials may be made to Allegheny Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America, P.O. Box 261, Falconer, NY 14733.

You may light a candle in remembrance of Aaron at