Tennessee Marine killed during live-fire training event returned home
Whaley was welcomed home by fellow military personnel at Nashville International Airport on Thursday.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WSMV) – The remains of Lance Corporal Joseph Whaley, killed during a live-fire training event at a Marine Corps based in California, returned home to Maury County Thursday ahead of his funeral services.
Whaley, 20, was killed on Aug. 17 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California.
Whaley was assigned as a student to the School of Infantry-West aboard Camp Pendleton. An investigation into the circumstances of the death is ongoing, Maj. Joshua J. Pena wrote in an email.
Whaley graduated from Columbia Central High School in 2022. Whaley is described as an outdoorsman at heart who “fearlessly embraced challenges and obstacles, inspiring all around him to follow his lead,” according to his obituary.
“His passion for conquering difficulties while uplifting others was a testament to his indomitable spirit. His love for football not only showcased his skills on the field but also his ability to foster connections and inspire his teammates and classmates,” the obituary said. “Joey’s dedication extended to the Columbia Central High School ROTC, where he served diligently. Yet, one of his most remarkable qualities was his quiet yet impactful support for those in need. His selflessness knew no bounds, and though we knew he was helping others, we now realize the vast extent of his service.”
A visitation will be held on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at 2 p.m. at the funeral home. Whaley’s burial will follow in Maury Memorial Gardens with full military honors provided by the United States Marine Corps.
Heritage Funeral Home is helping his family with arrangements.
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