Wynne Marine Receives Final Farewell

February 03, 2005 -- Posted at 11:00 p.m. CST

WYNNE, AR -- Loved ones filled the Wynne Baptist Church fondly remembering one of their own, 21- year old Brian Hopper. Hopper was a U.S. Marine who died last week when his helicopter crashed in Iraq.

Tearful testimonies from those who knew Brian best, sharing memories with those who were not so fortunate.

Gentle pats on the back are a comforting gesture, but they can't take away the pain of losing a son, brother, and friend.

Hands clutch only a picture of Lance Corporal Hopper, as they recall than man he was.

Now, they can only imagine what he could have become.

"He loved being a marine,"said friend, Davi Allen.

"He was very proud. He loved what he was doing. If he had to do it over again, he would do it,"said friend, Benita South.

He loved life, and had a pleasant disposition.

He was a cherished member of the Hopper family, and a treasured member of the community.

"Always outside, into fishing or hunting, or climbing the trees. He was always into something, always into mischief,"said Smith.

Friends and family all agree, the end came too soon for Brian Hopper.

His time on this earth was too short, but loved ones say each second they had with him was truly a gift.

"Hard to believe I could be so proud on such a sad day,"said Brian Hopper's father, Rob Hopper.