OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island community came together to bid farewell to a fallen Marine Thursday and pay their respects to a local hero. The way the young man died is only compounding his loved ones’ grief.
There was a tribute in song and pictures for Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan and taken from his Oceanside community.
“My heart was ripped out of my chest like you can’t even imagine,” Buckley’s father, Greg Buckley, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.
Last Friday, Buckley Jr. was one of six U.S. service members the military said was shot to death by an Afghan police officer. He had just turned 21.
“At the end of the day what happens? My son trains somebody to murder him,” Greg Buckley said.
Hundreds stood in line to say goodbye to the young man who enlisted in the Marines after high school to be a role model to his younger brothers and to make a difference.
“He said ‘Dad I want to be a Marine and I want to be a Nassau cop and I want to take care of people.’ That’s the type of person he was,” Greg Buckley said.
Buckley Jr.’s sacrifice won’t be forgotten. He has been posthumously been awarded a Purple Heart for his heroic actions and his death for his country.
His funeral will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.