FAIR OAKS (CBS13) — A procession was held this afternoon for fallen Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, and one of Gee's closest friends spoke out about how she hopes her friend will be remembered.
"We formed a friendship under a pull-up bar. She challenged me and said 'How many one-armed pull-ups can you do?' And from that moment we clicked," said Marine Cpl. Lauren Jackson.
Cpl. Jackson and Sgt. Gee were fast friends when they met in 2017 at boot camp.
"What was great is we were able to become rackmates," Jackson said.
Jackson is from San Diego, while Gee is from Roseville. The two California girls formed a special bond.
"We would just laugh, hang out and have conversations late at night," Jackson said.
Jackson shared their love of the physical and the spiritual. She was getting her theology degree at the time.
"Every night, we would have devotions for five minutes," she said.
Jackson says Gee spread joy everywhere she went.
"She was fiercely loyal. She had everybody's back. She never played the victim. She was somebody you could always count on and she got the job done," she said.
That's why Jackson wasn't surprised when she saw a picture of Gee holding a baby in late August with the caption: "I love my job." A few days later she learned Gee was one of the 13 US service members killed in a terrorist attack outside the airport that claimed the lives of 170 others.
"It was heartbreaking for me. But honestly, I was really heartbroken for her husband and her family," Jackson said.
Friends and family say Gee died doing what she loved. She will be memorialized Saturday with full honors. Jackson will be there. She hopes the community never forgets her friend.
"When Memorial Day comes along or something like this happens again or when they're sleeping at night in a peaceful environment, they think about my friend Gee and her family and the sacrifices she made," she said.
There will be a memorial service for Sgt. Gee on Saturday at the Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville. The public is invited.
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