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Memorial Jeep Ride Honors Veteran, Supports Wreaths Across America

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GRAFTON -

People who love off roading came together on Saturday to help kick off a memorial jeep ride for a Marion County veteran.

"My husband which is Peter Turner passed away July 7 last year. He was a veteran and we're here to honor him, and all his other brothers," said Judy Turner, Pete's wife.

Turner, served in the U.S. Army. Some knew him by his nickname, Ace. The Ace Memorial Ride started at the West Virginia National Cemetery near Grafton.

The ride really got off road as several jeeps took several trails with experienced drivers. The heavy rain and rumbles of thunder made trails more challenging and more fun.

Turner's wife Judy wants the memorial ride to be a fundraiser to help lay holiday wreaths to help support Wreaths Across America.

Wreaths Across America, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies during a specified Saturday in December at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as veterans' cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, ceremonies at sea, and 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil. The ceremonies will take place on Dec. 14.

"My goal is to cover Section 5, which is where my husband is and my dream is as well as my friends around me is to one day cover the entire cemetery," Turner said.

The executive director of the West Virginia National Cemetery said she believes as the memorial ride grows more people will hopefully take up the effort to help get Turner's dream fulfilled.

"With Judy and the West Virginia Jeep Club doing this fundraiser in Ace's memory, it will help get these wreaths on each grave, because there are loved ones buried here or veterans buried here that have no loved ones," said Mary Poe.

Turner said she's grateful to have the support. The inaugural run is believed to have raised around $1,800. A silent auction and a dinner after the ride was held at the Rivesville Fire Department in Marion County. 

"Pete was a really awesome guy, everybody knew him loved him. He had an infectious smile, and as you can see there's lots of people for him and me, and I'm just very, very grateful," Turner said.