Fallen Soldier's Family Speaks After Losing Home


Fallen Marine Jeremy Long's family returned to what's left of their mobile home in Sun Valley on Sunday.

They were salvaging anything they could from the home they once lived in -- an electrical fire gutted it Wednesday morning. Kathy Hamilton, Jeremy's mother, said she was looking for one item in particular: "a video Jeremy took... he narrated it... of Zach, of his brother."

Zach Long spoke to News Channel Eight inside the room he once shared with Jeremy. "A lot of sadness... it was really hard to actually come back in here... it feels kind of empty," Zach said.

Hamilton said the flag that covered her son's coffin was saved. The case that held it was singed and the gold lettering on it turned dark. Some pictures of Jeremy were also saved. Hamilton said a collection of photos of Jeremy's memorial service hanging on the wall, were destroyed. Some of Jeremy's yearbooks were also badly damaged.

"That's the worst part is losing all those pictures and little mementos that we had from Jeremy," Jeremy's step-brother Drew Hamilton said.

Jeremy's sister said she remembers how he used to wrestle with her and her brother. She said 9-11 was one of the reasons Jeremy wanted to be a marine.

Jeremy died in Iraq in August 2006 at age 18.

Jeremy's Purple Heart certificate was also burned. Much of Jeremy's things that could be saved are now in the trunk of his mother's car.

The home where the family said Jeremy always made them laugh is mostly blackened on the inside. There is a debris pile in what used to be the living room. The family is staying with relatives now. Kathy said the family is looking for a place to live close to Jeremy's sister's school, Spanish Springs High School.

Donations to Jeremy Long's family can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. KOLO News Channel Eight will continue to cover this story on later newscasts.

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