FLORA – Twenty-one rifle shots pierced the silence at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Flora Monday – a tribute to a hero who lost his life trying to save someone else’s.
Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, military men and women and emergency medical technicians from around the state gathered on the cemetery’s lawn and saluted their fallen comrade, 31-year-old Jacob Calvin.
Calvin, a Tipton County Sheriff’s deputy, was killed June 28 when his patrol car rolled over on the way to a crash scene.
He was laid to rest Monday in his hometown.
More than 600 people filled Carroll High School for the services before his burial.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter read a letter from Gov. Mike Pence aloud to the mourners gathered at the school.
“He gave his life answering a call for help,” Pence said in the letter. “He is a Hoosier hero.”
Hero was a word echoed by many throughout the service.
Carter said everyone should try to show perpetual kindness like Calvin did. If everyone had even half the heart for service, Carter said, we’d be the generation that changed the world.
The ISP superintendent looked at Calvin’s family Monday and said, “I hope you know we’ll never forget Jake’s journey, his friendship, his servant’s heart.”
That heart for service began 15 years ago. At 17 Calvin chose to enlist in the United States Air Force. His mother proudly signed his early enlistment papers.
He served in the military for six years, serving one tour in Iraq as a security police officer. He was constantly volunteering for the most dangerous parts of the mission.
When his tour was complete in 2005, he became an EMT, volunteer firefighter and police officer. During his two and a half years as a sheriff’s deputy, he became actively involved in removing illegal drugs from the streets. Last year he was one of the department’s arrest leaders.