It was standing room only at Newark's Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart Friday as hundreds of police and soldiers showed up for the funeral of a New Jersey National Guardsman killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Jorge Oliveira, who was also an Essex County Sheriff's detective, was killed by an improvised explosive device.
The 33-year-old native of Portugal and Newark resident joined the National Guard in 2003.
Oliveira was assigned to the Security Forces Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment. The unit deployed in June.
At the Mass, Gov. Chris Christie called the fallen solider "an American patriot committed to the great virtues and principles of our country."
Christie first met with Oliveira's family last week at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware when his body was flown there.
Oliveira had been recognized with the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star. He had also earned the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Air Assault Badge.