Friends, family, fellow sailors gather for funeral of fallen Champaign County fallen sailor

UPDATE @ 1:37 p.m.

Friends and family continue to gather for the funeral of Navy sailor Jacob Drake Saturday morning in West Jefferson.

Fellow sailors have turned out to pay their respects as well as a group of Blue Star Mothers who have children in the Navy.

Petty Officer Third Class Nathan Rafferty, 28, drove with another sailor from Norfolk, Virginia for the visitation and funeral.

"Whenever you go through boot amp you get really close to them he was a great kid and everyone just flooded to him," Rafferty said.

A group of Blue Star Mothers including Nan Hayes from Marysville told our reporter they are attending because they to have children serving overseas.


The Champaign County sailor who was killed when the USS John McCain collided with a merchant ship near Singapore last month will be remembered today at his funeral.

BACKGROUND: Champaign County missing sailor

Family and friends will gather at the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home in West Jefferson in Madison County. A public visitation will begin at 10 a.m. and his funeral will start at 2 p.m. He will be given military honors at that time.

RECENTLY: Body of Champaign County sailor who died in Navy crash comes home

Drake was a Triad graduate. He was 21.

Drake was missing for several days after the crash on the South China Sea.

His body landed in Ohio on Tuesday and he was escorted to West Jefferson by emergency vehicles and veterans. Many honored Drake in downtown West Jefferson by standing on the side of the road as the procession went by.

RESPECTED: Jacob Drake Honored

The family has thanked everyone for being there for them.

“The support is greatly appreciated,” his sister Veronica Drake said. “It is very nice to have support from the community and to know Jake will be so well remembered by everyone around him.”

EXTRA: Champaign County native Jacob Drake among missing

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