by Larry Little
Saturday evening, friends and family of Marine Corporal Jacob Neal gathered in Kennard, coping with their loss. Neal died last week in combat while serving in Iraq.
"It's been hard. It's been sad. We are going to miss our son. You know, we haven't seen him in a while," says Perry Neal.
"It is pretty hard. We were real close all my life. I just miss him," says Jason Neal, Jacob's brother.
Family members say Neal talked about joining the military after graduating from Crockett High, but 9/11 made Neal sure he wanted to serve his country.
"When 9-11 happened, he told me he really wanted to go over there. I went with him when he signed up. He wanted to go to Iraq," says Jason Neal.