Posted at: 03/29/2013 5:12 PM
Updated at: 03/29/2013 5:16 PM
By: Dan Bazile
LENOX -- It was a great outpouring of love and support from people in Lenox, MA. They came out to Saint Ann's Catholic Church on Main Street to pay their final respects to a young marine. The mourners made their way into the church for the Friday morning service. Many of them were family and friends of Lance Corporal Roger Muchnick. But some were complete strangers who said they couldn't stay away.
"Like they say in the Marine Corps, once a marine always a marine. When you have a brother that's fallen, then you come and pay your respects to him and the family," said a former marine who didn't give his name.
Muchnick who served two tours of duty in Kuwait and Afghanistan, was among seven marines killed on March 18th at an army base in Nevada when a mortar shell exploded during a training exercise. The 23 year-old marine was originally from Westport, CT. But his family is from Lenox. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents Robert and Mary Ann Coakley. He also attended the very same church where his funeral was held.
"It's a family I've known forever. They mean the world to me. They've suffered a tremendous loss," said Amy Boington, a family friend.
It's a sense of loss for a family that many said has given so much to community and country. Muchnick's great uncle was a Navy Lt. Commander who lost his life in combat.
"I knew Bob's other brother, Lt Commander Bill Coakley, who was shot down over Laos in 1966, whose bones were recovered 22 years later, brought home to be buried here in Lenox," said Michael Pignatelli.
Bagpipes played as fellow marines carried the flag draped casket out of the church. Main Street was shut down as the procession slowly made its way to Muchnick's final resting place. Muchnick was buried with full military honors at Saint Ann Cemetery alongside his great uncle.