Slain soldier remembered as 'great paratrooper'

BOZEMAN, Mont. Capt. Jeremiah "Jerry" Sipes, 33, was a graduate of Belgrade High School and Montana State University who served with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. He was the squadron intelligence officer for 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Sipes was a "family man, soldier and friend of the highest caliber," Greg Hall, Sipes' stepfather, told an overflow crowd of more than 250 at a funeral chapel in Bozeman.

"Good was never good enough -- excellence was the goal," Hall said.

Chaplain Jonathan McPherson called Sipes "a great man, a great paratrooper," The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

After the service, a funeral procession led the way to Sunset Hills Cemetery for a graveside service with military honors.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff Monday.

Sipes was shot Jan. 1 while jogging on the All American Trail through Fort Bragg, possibly by a hunter.

The Army is investigating the shooting.

A man made a 911 call made to Hoke County Emergency Communications on Jan. 1 and said he and his hunting partner had startled a deer and his partner fired, apparently hitting a man running on the trail.

Hunting is allowed in portions of the sprawling base, which covers more than 251 square miles in parts of four counties. New Year's Day was the last day of deer season.

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