US Forest Officer, K9 Laid to Rest
MARION, N.C. - US Forest Officer Jason Crisp and K9 Maros were remembered Monday inside the McDowell County High School gymnasium. Hundreds of civilians and law enforcement were there, as well as North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. There was also a touching tribute by area K9 units. Dozens of dogs filed past the American flag-draped casket that held Crisp and Maros together.
Crisp's widow, Amanda, and the couple's two sons smiled and laughed through the tears as Crisp's best friends and colleagues told light-hearted stories, one about about how often the two were together. Officer Wade Keener said with a smile, "People would come up to me and say, 'Where's your wife at?' And before I had a wife, I knew who they were talking about."
Officer Kevin Woodall said with a straight face, "I think I feel Jason's presence today with us here and I know Jason would be telling me right now, 'just look out into the crowd and imagine everybody naked.'"
Crisp's friends, family and pastor remember him as a compassionate man who would regularly check to make sure his colleagues were wearing their bullet proof vests. Rev. Charles Dicks says, "We don't have very many men of the caliber of Jason in our midst anymore."
Crisp and Maros were killed last Wednesday during the manhunt for a then-double murder suspect. Pastor Ross Lewis says Crisp, a man committed to his family and his faith, died doing the job he loved to do. Lewis says, "The Lord did not leave him. That evening, the Lord just took him home."
Crisp's widow and children received memorial flags during Monday's service. When one officer stooped to present a flag to the youngest Crisp boy, the crowd inside this gymnasium wept. Keener said as he choked back tears, "He's the absolute best friend I ever had. And I'm gonna miss him and I love him. Thank you for showing up. I'm sure he'd appreciate it."
38-year-old Crisp served in law enforcement for 17 years. He was buried in a private service.