Young Petaluma-born Marine laid to rest after being struck by lightning

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The remains of a Sonoma County Marine were returned home Friday. Skyler James, 23, was killed after being struck by lightning last month. (KGO-TV)

The remains of a Sonoma County Marine were returned home Friday. Skyler James, 23, was killed after being struck by lightning last month.

He was working as an aviation mechanic on a military aircraft in North Carolina when it happened. Family and friends gathered at Sonoma Airport to honor the fallen Marine.

Heartbroken, yet so proud -- those are the best feelings, to sum up how this young Marine's family and friends are handling his shocking and untimely death.

James grew up in Petaluma and enlisted in the marines in 2014. He was recently promoted to Corporal. His mother says he loved his job.

American Legion and Patriot Guard raiders waited inside the terminal as the Marine master sergeant carried the ashes of the 23-year-old Petaluma High School graduate.

"Whenever I would talk to him on the phone, he'd be like, ' Mom I'm just a mechanic' and they told me that he excelled at an exceptional rate and the morning that this happened he was promoted to lead mechanic on the Ospry. He never bragged about it," said James' mother Robin.

"For the four days that Skyler was there before he was pronounced dead, there was a vigil of Marine brothers," said friend Bethann McClintosh-King. "The marines really mean it when they say that they're family and they took such good care of Robin."

A motorcade led by various officials headed to the Coast Guard's training center in Petaluma.

A memorial service is scheduled in Petaluma Saturday.

Related Topics:
weatherlightningrainstormsevere weatherwarningsafetymarinesmilitarymemorialPetalumaNorth Carolina
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