Police escorted the hearse carrying the body of a northern New Jersey Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan back to his hometown on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Waldwick residents lined the streets to honor Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine. The procession passed under an American flag held aloft by two fire department ladder trucks.
The 29-year-old died March 27 while trying to defuse a bomb in the Helmand province, two weeks before he was due to come home for his sister's wedding.
"He didn't have any brothers, he had three sisters," his father Anthony D'Augustine said Tuesday. "Once he joined the Marines, he had a lot of brothers. They all loved him."
"He was our prince and our hero in the family, and he's going to be so badly missed," he said.
D'Augustine graduated from Waldwick High School in 2001, where he wrestled and played football. Some former classmates wore jerseys with his name and number as they lined the streets.
D'Augustine was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal unit from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, part of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.
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