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Veteran who took one last ride at Marion VA dies

Veteran who took one last ride at Marion VA dies

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Vernell Holderfield, the terminally ill patient at Marion Veterans Affairs Medical Center who got his wish to go on one last motorcycle ride in February, died Thursday, according to a VA news release.

After posting his wish for the Last Ride on Feb. 18 on Facebook, more than 200 bikes and 100 people turned out the next day to help grant the Marine veteran's wish. Also helping were Marion Fire and Police departments, Heartland Regional Medical Center staff, local Harley-Davidson dealers and members of Marion VFW Post 1301. The Facebook post reached nearly 250,000 people in 24 hours, according to the release.

His family expressed thanks in the release, saying Holderfield called it "the best day of his life." 

Holderfield donated his body to a local school for research, joking he "was going back to college." According to the release, he was passionate about education on suicide, something he had once considered himself, and hoped that other veterans could have their wishes granted.

Services will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home in Marion.

— The Southern

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