NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A wake is being held Thursday in the Bronx for a Marine staff sergeant and FDNY firefighter who died in the line of duty.
Christopher Slutman was killed earlier this month when a roadside bomb went off in Afghanistan. Cpl. Robert Hendricks, of Long Island, and Sgt. Benjamin Hines, of Pennsylvania, also died in the blast.READ MORE: NYPD Lieutenant Shot In Ankle Apprehending Suspect In The Bronx
Slutman, 43, served 15 years with the FDNY before he was deployed last spring. In 2014, he was awarded the medal of bravery for saving a woman from a Bronx fire.
“He always wanted to better himself. He wanted to be the best. He felt he hadn’t done enough by serving the city of New York for 15 years here in the fire department. He also wanted to go serve his country overseas, and he did,” Capt. Steven Moore told CBS News’ Jeff Glor.
“He was willing to stand between the people he was serving and danger. Whether it be protecting his men over in Afghanistan while he was serving with the Marines or protecting the citizens of New York, he was willing to stand in that breach and take the heat,” said Firefighter Dan Richter of Engine 46.
WATCH: Procession Transports Staff Sgt. Slutman’s Remains Back To Bronx
The FDNY has honored their friend and colleague with a proud display of his uniform and name plate, and said there will be more tributes.
“There will be a plaque on the wall placed a year from now that will always be there,” Engine 46 Lt. Jack Meara said. “The last time we spoke to Chris we had a going-away party for him. Never did we think that he wasn’t going to return, and we knew he was in the danger zone, but you don’t think it’s going to happen to your guy.”READ MORE: New York City Rolls Out $100 Incentive For Getting Vaccinated As CDC Report Warns Delta Variant As Contagious As Chicken Pox
Slutman left behind a wife, Shannon, and three daughters. The family lives just outside Wilmington, Delaware.
“I have years and years and years of stories to tell our girls so that they don’t forget how blessed they were to have him as a dad. And for me to have him as a husband,” Shannon Slutman said.
“If everybody could experience the type of love that I’ve had, the world would be a better place. I mean when we say that Chris was all-in, he was all-in in anything he did,” she added.
Richter said the Slutman family will not be left behind.
“Those little girls have a lot more family members through this and that will never change,” he said.
WATCH: FDNY Ladder Company 27 Honors Firefighter Slutman
Thursday’s wake is being held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home in the Bronx.MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2's 7/31 Saturday Morning Forecast
Slutman’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Thomas Church in Midtown. He will be laid to rest on April 30 in Arlington National Cemetery.