Hundreds Pay Tribute to Fallen NJ Marine

The funeral service for 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca was held in his hometown of North Arlington

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A final farewell Monday to a young Marine from New Jersey who was killed in Afghanistan: 20-year-old Osbrany Montes De Oca died 10 days ago during combat operations, after just being promoted to Lance Corporal. Jonathan Vigliotti reports from North Arlington. (Published Monday, Feb 20, 2012)

    A Marine from Bergen County who was killed in combat operations in Afghanistan was laid to rest following a private funeral Monday.

    Hundreds stood in silence as a Marine honor guard escorted the hearse carrying the remains of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca to Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church for the funeral service.

    Montes De Oca's family followed close behind the procession. His twin brother Osmany, with whom he enlisted in December 2010, was in uniform.

    Members of the fallen soldier's North Arlington community paid tribute from the sidewalk as they watched guards carry his flag-draped casket into the church.

    Montes De Oca was killed Feb. 10 in the Helmand province, just 10 days after having been promoted.

    Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags to be flown at half staff statewide in honor of the fallen soldier. The governor joined Marines, friends and family in saying goodbye at the funeral.

    While many standing outside the church never knew Montes De Oca, they expressed gratitude for the freedom men like him bravely protect every day.

    Montes De Oca was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force that was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

    He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in his hometown of North Arlington.