JUSTIN, Texas – A funeral was held Saturday to honor Nathan Gage Ingram, the fallen Navy SEAL who died in a selfless act of bravery.
The Pentagon says Ingram dove into rough waters, after senior Navy SEAL Chris Chambers fell in while trying to intercept weapons being smuggled from Iran in the Arabian Sea.
Family, friends, and those who didn’t know Ingram personally visited to pay Ingram their respects.
Despite the rain, so many people felt compelled to go to the funeral.
In a statement, the family said the overwhelming support from the community has touched their hearts.
As an American flag waved high in the sky outside Northwest ISD Stadium in Justin, there was a celebration of life fit for a hero.
Thousands went to honor Ingram.
The 27-year-old Roanoke native was one of two Navy SEALs who died during a mission off the coast of Somalia in January.
“On a day like this, with the rain coming down, seeing the community come out and rally around this family is a very humbling experience, and the family is grateful for that,” U.S. Navy Ensign Tony Curtis said.
Members of local law enforcement, members of the military, and people in the community filed inside the stadium.
The use of electronic devices was prohibited during the memorial, because of this, all media cameras were excluded from going inside the stadium.
We know the Honor Guard, speakers from Ingram’s family, and other military traditions were part of the ceremony.
Erika Sallee brought her two daughters out to pay their respects.
“Just knowing that he is honoring our country in the way that he was and serving our country in the way that it was, it’s only right that we come out and honor him and what he did for us, so we’re grateful for that,” she said.
Sallee and her husband both served in the U.S. military.
She said losing someone who serves their country is always hard to see.
“But I know that he was doing what he set out to do and serving our country. I can only imagine the amount of pride his family has for that, despite, I’m sure just missing him terribly,” Sallee said.
On January 11, U.S. military officials said, during a mission to seize a boat that was confirmed to be carrying illicit Iranian-made weapons to Yemen, Chambers slipped while boarding the boat.
As he fell, Ingram jumped in to try to save him.
Both men were lost at sea.
“Gage held his calling to be a SEAL, his family, friends, team, and nation dear to his heart,” Curtis added.
In a statement, Ingram’s family expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the support they’ve received.
“They are grateful for the overwhelming outpour of love, kindness, and generosity from familiar faces and strangers alike, offering condolences and prayers, it has touched their hearts,” Curtis said.
In the same way a hero’s sacrifice has touched the heart of the community.
“Thank you for letting him be a hero for our country and as we’re sorry for his loss, for all of you,” Sallee said. “We’re grateful for what your family has done for our country.”
In the family’s statement they asked for continued thoughts and prayers while they navigate through this period of grieving and healing.
They also asked for respect for their privacy during this time.