NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Funeral services were held today for Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca.
The young Marine lost his life defending his country.
“I think it’s very upsetting. He’s only 20 years old,” said Abbie Roman of North Arlington. “My son’s 3 and I can’t imagine losing him at 20, for any reason. But I know his family is proud he died fighting for us.”
Osbrany enlisted in the Marines alongside his twin brother just after they graduated high school about a year and a half ago. He was walking off base in Afghanistan last week when a sniper’s bullet hit him in the back, killing him.
“Especially as young as he was, he would’ve had a great life ahead of him, especially the way he was,” said Marquis Griffin.
Osbrany’s two brothers stood in uniform outside the funeral home while his casket was placed into the hearse for the ceremonial procession. They are also Marines. They were both given the option to stay home and not return to war, but both declined saying now, more than ever, they want to get back to the fight.
“It just says a lot about a Marine’s character,” said Gunnery Sgt. Harold McLean of the U.S. Marine Corps. “You mourn your loss, but at the end of the day, you want to carry on the mission.”
Dozens crowded the street to salute Osbrany. His family dried their tears and his girlfriend gained strength from those around her, reported CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider. The community turned out to support them all.
“We all stick together, which as you see here, we’re all participating and everything,” said Army veteran Joseph Gajda.
Flags were lowered to half staff at the Queen of Peace church for the funeral. They’ll be flown at half staff Tuesday statewide by order of Governor Chris Christie.
Christie’s decision to fly flags at half staff to honor singer Whitney Houston prompted a strong reaction. A Michigan man even set fire to the state’s flag in protest.
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