NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey family is in mourning after getting workd that one of their Marine sons was killed in Afghanistan.
It happened in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, the Helmand Province, where hundreds of Americans have lost their lives.
Family members said 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca had just walked off base when a sniper bullet hit him in the back, killing him.
“He was a great guy. He was a hero,” said Frankin, his 15-year-old brother.
The Montes De Oca family lives in North Arlington, within sight of the World Trade Center.
“He was such a nice kid growing up, friendly. And fighting for our country,” said neighbor Linda Tromans.
Tromans knew the brothers their entire lives. She told CBS 2′s Don Dahler that she knew something was wrong last Friday.
“When I seen the Marine Corps knock on the door ’cause they don’t come to say hello, I knew something happened,” she said.
“He was the best man I knew,” Frankin said.
Osbrany and his identical twin, Osmany, enlisted in the Marines shortly after graduating from North Arlington High School a little more than a year ago.
Osbrany played lacrosse and football there. Their older brother enlisted a short time after.
Unlike in the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” brothers and sisters who are enlisted do not automatically get discharged if they lose a sibling in combat.
However, a family friend told Dahler that the Corps gave the two brothers still in active duty the option to not go back to war. They declined, saying, more than ever, they want to get back in the fight.
Montes de Oca is the 42nd service member from New Jersey to be killed in Afghanistan.
A wake will be held Friday afternoon.
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