Twenty-three-year-old Bakersfield Marine remembered

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A Bakersfield Marine was remembered today in a celebration of life.

Sergeant George Galvan was a true hometown hero. Born and raised in Bakersfield, he graduated from Mira Monte High School. People remembered him as a man who dreamed of being a Marine from a young age–and he did just that at age 17.

Galvan was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, just north of San Diego, when he died in a crash in June. Weeks later, Hillcrest Chapel was overflowing with friends, family, and veterans honoring the 23-year-old son and father.

“George joined a brotherhood, a brotherhood of veterans, a brotherhood of Marines,” said Ben Patten, a veteran who founded Armed Forces Support Rides.

Galvan’s Marine commander added, “I want to say thank you to the family for the opportunity to lead your son. I was very proud of him. He did tremendous things.”

Galvan is survived by his parents, grandparents, and three siblings. He also leaves behind his son Kollin and his fiance Elvia, who has a baby girl, Serenity, on the way.

His family wanted his funeral to be a celebration of life, inviting everyone to share uplifting memories.

“Whenever we were down, we would come to him,” said Francisco Estrada, Galvan’s childhood friend and fellow Marine. “Doesn’t matter what time of night, he’ll answer the phone. He was our rock.”

Following the ceremony, more than 50 local veterans lead a motorcade to Hillcrest Memorial Park. Galvan was laid to rest with military honors.

“He did what he had to do so that you and I can live the life we want to live. Something like that is incredibly admirable and deserves the ultimate respect,” Patten said.

Though there were certainly tears, the service reminded everyone of something Galvan once said: “If you dwell in the past, you’ll forget to live in the future.”

Galvan will be remembered for his positive outlook on life. His daughter Serenity is due early next year.

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