WALDWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Just two weeks before he was supposed to return home, a New Jersey Marine has been killed in Afghanistan.

Friends say Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, of Waldwick, grew up wanting to be a US Marine, and in the end, it was a dream that he died for.

“It’s a hell of a thing, you know, it hurts,” neighbor Anthony Scicchitano told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

Scicchitano watched from his house across the street as decorated military officers delivered the devastating news to D’Augustine’s mother on Tuesday, Brown reported.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

“After they left I went across the street and said, ‘Patti, it can’t be’ and she said, ‘I lost my son,’” Scicchitano said.

D’Augustine, who graduated from Waldwick High School in 2001, was assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group stationed out of Camp Lejune.

The 29-year-old was a specialist trained to dismantle bombs and land mines.

“That’s what took Joey’s life; he was diffusing a bomb,” Scicchitano said. “Somebody’s gotta do the job and unfortunately Joey picked the wrong card.”

D’Augustine was on his fourth tour of duty overseas — his second in Afghanistan.

Family friend Adam Scicchitano says D’Augstine’s father was a police detective and being a Marine was his way of following in those footsteps.

“I think he had a passion for the military,” Scicchitano said. “He knew what he was doing and he loved what he was doing.”

D’Augustine was scheduled to return home in less than two  weeks for his sister’s wedding.

“She spoke to him Monday night before she went to bed and this happened the day after,” Scicchitano said. “She would have loved him to be here; everybody would have loved him to be here.”

D’Augustine’s family has traveled from their home in Waldwick to Maryland to retrieve his body.

There is no word yet on funeral arrangements.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has offered his condolences to the family and said he is in the process of ordering flags lowered in honor of the fallen soldier.

Flags are already flying at half-staff along Franklin Turnpike and Prospect Street in Waldwick.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below…

Comments (16)
  1. Carla Jen McCarthy says:

    Rest in peace soldier! My condolences to his friends and family.

  2. EOD-MC says:

    Rest in peace brother. Semper Fi

  3. Aubrey Kollatschny says:

    Joey was my roommate from 2002-2004. We deployed together for our 1st deployment to Iraq. He is was a great friend. I can not tell you how much fun we had together in states and in Iraq. From the parties at our apartment to parties in Lake Havasu on weekends. Too many memories to talk about all good even ones in Iraq. He served our country so others could sleep safe at home. He will be missed greatly. To his family if I can do anything please let me know. All I can do is think of the good times we had together. Love you brother….

    1. Aubrey Kollatschny says:

      @Marat apparently your an IDIOT. You can sleep safe knowing he took the fight to them instead of here in America. 9/11 maybe ring a bell or maybe other attacks? That is ok we both fought even for people like you to have a opinion even if it shows how STUPID you are.

  4. Madbomber says:

    Semper Fi Joey
    -an EOD brother

  5. Heather says:

    I Live with his Fiance Brandy. I never met Joey, but I talked to him frequently online on Skype and was looking forward to meeting him when he returned. Brandy had planned a double date from them and my and my boyfriend. He was an amazing guy and those two loved each other more than anything. No words can help these families, but I hope some peace comes to them knowing that Joey died doing what he loved. He died a hero.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please just stop this madness and bring everyone home.

  7. Lieut Dan's Aunt says:

    another hero taken from those who love far too early. thank you for your service ssgt d’augustine, my deepest sympathies to your family and friends for their sacrifice. a nephew served 2 iraq tours, and i know the range of emotions. the saddest 2 pieces of music – bagpipes playing “going home”, and a bugler playing taps. too many tears shed, too many sad songs. he was no doubt proud “to bear the title of a united states marine.” rest in peace with your comrades called ahead of you, stand guard over those still in harm’s way.

  8. VP64 says:

    Your sacrifice did not go unoticed it will also not be forgotten! RIP

  9. Smstwed says:

    Joe was a great guy. He always knew how to make people laugh. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and fellow Americans. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I hope they can find some comfort in knowing their son was, and always will be, a true American hero. Thank you Sgt. Because of you, and soldiers like you, we sleep safely tonight. All gave some, some gave all. RIP Joey.

  10. Slawless says:

    Bring our boys home we have lost enough of our boys for oil!

    1. Merica says:

      yeah, Afghanistan is an oil rich country….idiot, keep your stupid remarks to yourself.

  11. tg says:

    Thank you for your service,bravery and ultimate sacrifice.. may you rest in peace.. my deepest sympathy and admiration to his family Semper Fi…

    1. Cindy Hall says:

      tg just said it all, rest in peace and our prayers go out to his family. May God give you peace and strength and most of all the comfort you need.


  12. Nancy Scicchitano says:

    I watched Joe grow up with my children. I remember speaking with him the last time he was home and he referred to me as “Maam” and I said “Joe you don’t have to say that”. I remember telling my husband that he had grown up to be a fine young and respectable man.
    He will be very missed by all.
    May God keep Joey resting beside Him, and may God give Patti, Tony and the rest of the family the strength to bear this horrible loss.

  13. GeminiLady5 says:

    My heart breaks for these families! May he Rest in Peace! I pray that all our military personnel come home safely very soon!

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