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Salute to the Fallen will honor Mason Webber

Webber

Around 300 to 400 bikers will arrive in Marshalltown on July 18 for a special tribute to fallen soldier Mason Webber.

Webber died in September while conducting maintenance on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Fort Hood in Texas. He lived in Marshalltown for two years prior to enlisting in the Army in March 2018.

The event is hosted by Salute to the Fallen. John Thompson, the founder and president of the organization, said the event is part of the Rock and Roll Freedom Rock Tour. It will begin at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Hall. From there, the bikers will ride to the Freedom Rock in Solon and then return to Marshalltown for an auction, ceremony and music provided by Mason-Dixon Line. They will present Webber’s mother, Tonya O’Neal, with a hand-carved “Logs 4 Heroes” battle cross.

Proceeds from the event and the auction will be given to Webber’s family.

“Everything we do, we do for Iowa military,” Thompson said. “We escort National Guard to deployment. We escort soldier remains. We are an advocate for suicide awarness. We try to help families understand and process their grief.”

The Salute to the Fallen events are very well-received and Thompson said not a single person leaves dry-eyed.

“There is no charge,” he said. “The event is open to the public. Our biggest mission to build camaraderie between civilians and the military.”

The last Rock and Roll Freedom Rock Tour event was held in Waverly and the next one will be held in Cedar Rapids on Aug. 29. Thompson said that event is for a soldier who lost his fight with post-traumatic stress disorder two months ago.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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