BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Friends of fallen Deputy Phillip Campas — many of them, like Campas, former Marines — choked back tears as they shared stories humorous and heartfelt to the hundreds who attended his memorial service Friday at Mechanics Bank Arena.
“This man did more in 35 years than most of us will do in a lifetime, and he did everything exceptionally well,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “He did it better than everyone else.”
Condolences have poured in statewide and beyond following Campas’ death July 25 during a SWAT standoff.
Seth Caridi, who became fast friends with Campas after meeting him at Camp Pendleton in 2009, said his friend was a leader and the best Marine he served with.
“Phil sacrificed his life doing what he always does: Leading by the front,” Caridi said.
People gravitated toward Campas, Caridi said. He excelled at everything he tried.
When he was promoted to sergeant, Caridi’s staff sergeant asked if there was anyone he wanted to promote. The answer was easy: Campas.
The two were deployed to Japan in 2010. As an active platoon sergeant, Caridi said he leaned on Campas for advice.
“Trouble with a Marine? Phil would have the remedy,” Caridi said. “Question about proper ceremonial formations? Phil would have the answer.”
The two men who made the greatest impact on his life are his father and Campas, Caridi said.
Doors to the Mechanics Bank Arena opened at 9:30 a.m. The service lasted until a little after 12:30 p.m.
A procession took place following the memorial service to escort Deputy Campas to the Bakersfield National Cemetery.
The procession was for law enforcement vehicles only and went east from Mechanics Bank Arena on Truxtun Avenue, south onto Union Avenue, merge onto eastbound Highway 58 then exit onto Highway 223 toward Arvin.