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Fallen Utah Marine laid to rest

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UTAH COUNTY -- A young Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan this week received full military honors Saturday.

Lance Cpl. Carlos Aragon of Orem was laid to rest in Veterans Memorial Park in Bluffdale Saturday afternoon. He was killed Monday -- the first of two young Utah Marines to die this week.

Aragon was on foot patrol Monday when he stepped on an IED in Helmand Province. He was just 19 years old.

Flags lined the street in front of the Chapel Valley 3rd Ward meetinghouse in Lehi as mourners gathered in Aragon's honor and later watched the casket carried out by Marines.

Friends and family remembered Aragon as an adventurous young man who liked doing things his own way.

"He didn't like going up the trail at Bridal Veil Falls" in Provo Canyon, said Brad Halliday. "He went straight up the mountain the hard way. That's the way he liked things."

Aragon was also remembered as a thoughtful and humble son who arranged to have flowers sent to his mother on Mother's Day, even while he was away on duty.

"He helped me to be a better man, a better husband, a better father and a better friend," Halliday said. "And he did it by example."

At the cemetery, Aragon was given full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and taps.

According to his obituary, Aragon loved to listen to music from the 1970s. He also loved to look at old cars.

Robert Gardner, who was Aragon's bishop in his ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Aragon didn't seek the spotlight.

"He didn't need any fame. He didn't need any glory. He didn't like to speak in front of people," Gardner said.

Gardner remembered when Aragon helped a friend duct-tape his car after a fender-bender so it could be driven to a mechanic.

"But he did more than that. He made sure the car looked as good as it could, then with the duct tape he put a big smiley face on the front of the car," Gardner said. "What a wonderful way to turn a negative experience into something his friend would remember for the rest of his life."

Aragon enlisted straight out of high school in 2008. Earlier this week, Mountain View High School's assistant principal reflected on Aragon's life.

"He was very quiet, very respectful and he kind of had an exterior that might seem to intimidate some people," said Peter Glahn. "He really was a gentle guy."

Aragon is one of two Marines killed this week in Afghanistan. On Thursday, Lance Cpl. Nigel Olsen was killed, also in Helmand Province.

The two were in the same Marine company and both attended Mountain View High School, graduating just one year apart. The flag at the school has been lowered to half staff.

Funeral services for Olsen are scheduled for late next week. A viewing will take place Friday, while the funeral is set for Saturday.

The exact times and locations have not been announced.

Administrators will meet Monday to determine a proper tribute for both former students.

Story compiled with contributions from Sarah Dallof and The Associated Press.


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