Sean Ferguson: A life of service and sacrifice

VISALIA, Calif.

A memorial service for Army Sergeant Sean Ferguson will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints on Saturday morning. Friends and family say Ferguson was passionate about his service and fighting for freedom.

Saturday morning 29-year-old Sean Ferguson passed away from natural causes. He was in Baghdad, Iraq providing security services for U.S. State Department officials. The U.S. Console delivered the news to his family.

Ferguson had served in Iraq for the majority of his Army service between 2001 and 2010.

Family spokesperson Ralph Jordan called him a "soldier's solider" saying he was very hands-on and fought numerous battles in Iraq. "He was proud of the service he gave to the country, and I think in the private sector he also found a way he could continue service that was meaningful."

In 2005, while recovering from his second injury in Iraq, Ferguson received a surprise visit by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was visiting the region. Ferguson received two purple hearts for his injuries. The medals sat on a table beside his hospital bed during Rumsfeld's visit.

The Mount Whitney High School grad was also a popular student in high school and was a competitive football player. Ferguson's father is a judge with Tulare County Superior Court.

While Sean was in the Army, his family prayed and prayed for his safe return -- they prayed that God would watch over him. They're not strangers to the fact that their son might be in danger, however as a private contractor they felt his situation was not high risk.

Sean Ferguson is survived by his parents, a sister, brother, seven nephews, and one niece. Jordan said Ferguson's family and close friends are taking the news hard. "If there was ever a soldier I could hand-pick to represent me as an American and defend me as a person, Sean would be the epitome of that solider."

Saturday's memorial service for Sean will begin at 10am. His body is being flown to the United States Monday. The family also received word that he will be buried at Arlington Cemetery.

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