TEMPLE, NH - (WMUR/CNN) - A young Marine who made headlines last year when he asked to wear his uniform instead of robes to graduation was killed serving in Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was killed by a roadside bomb, along with two other U.S. service members and a military dog.
A U.S. flag was silently lowered last week outside the Temple Volunteer Fire Department, where Garabrant also served as a firefighter when he was home in New Hampshire.
“He absolutely loved doing what he was doing, he knew the sacrifice and he was still willing to do it and it was a total shock to hear the news,” said Chief George Clark of the Temple Volunteer Fire Dept.
Clark formed a special bond with Garabrant. The two men served in the Marines and says the young Lance corporal had a drive to serve his country and his community.
“Whenever he came home on leave, the first thing he did was contacting me, “Chief, I need a pager so I can help you out,'” said Clark. "It's just a total tragedy, such a young kid at a young age doing what he loved doing.”
Garabrant made news a year ago after he graduated boot camp one day and high school the next.
He asked if he could wear his uniform to receive his diploma and was denied, which made national headlines.
In the end he chose to wear the cap and gown, saying he did not want to be disrespectful by covering any part of his uniform.
He wore many hats, he was also a Peterborough police explore, the chief says "the three best words to describe him: a young gentleman."
At the fire department, this family will remember their brother.
“Being a veteran you share bonds with your brothers and sisters of all the armed forces... especially having served overseas,” said Cpt. Ken Patria Temple Volunteer Fire Dept. “I want them to honor his life and what he did for his country.”
“I was looking forward to the day he was going to be back with us full-time, unfortunately he made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and privileges that we have,” said Deputy Chief Matt Bruneau, Temple Volunteer Fire Dept.
Garabrant was assigned to NATO Security Forces. Memorial and funeral plans have not yet been announced.
Courtesy: CNN Newsource