Memorial service held for Elyria sailor killed in USS Fitzgerald collision

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ELYRIA, Ohio - A sailor from Northeast Ohio who died serving his country is remembered as dedicated and determined. A memorial service was held Monday evening to honor the sacrifice of 37-year old Gary Rehm, Junior.

Rehm was remembered as a person who always looked out for others. In fact, when his Navy ship collided with another vessel, he lost his life after saving the lives of several of his fellow sailors.

Dozens of friends, family and military veterans showed up for the service at VFW post 1079 in Elyria for Rehm, a U.S. Navy chief fire controlman.

"He was a very genuine person who always thought of others and always put his best foot forward," said one of this friends.

Rehm was stationed aboard the USS Fitzgerald. June 17th, he was one of seven sailors killed when their destroyer collided with a Philippine container ship off the coast of Japan.

"He was always helpful, kind-hearted, he'd do anything for anybody...if he had a rough time getting it done, he'd figure out a way to get it done," said his uncle Roy Hamker.

During the service, Rehm's relatives were presented with several proclamations.

His aunt read a statement from his wife.

"Gary is not only my husband, but he's my soul mate, my best friend and for those who watch Friends, he's my lobster, we always said that to each other because lobsters mate for life," read Pat Hamker.

The statement spoke of the love and dedication the couple had for each other.

"All we wanted was to make each other happy, Gary was my rock, if I had a bad day, all I needed was for him to wrap his arms around me and if made everything ok," she continued.

"He worked so hard all the such a young age, when most of us were just hanging out with our friends worried about silly high school drama, he was already mature beyond his years," said friend Laura Bolin.

His hometown of Elyria certainly let his family know that the sacrifice made by their hometown hero, will never be forgotten.

Rehm's parents and his wife of 17 years live in Virginia. They say he was ready to retire from the Navy in about a year and three months. Next week, he will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

More on this, here. 

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