JACKSONVILLE, N.C.(WNCT)–Thursday, friends and family of Sergeant Joseph Murray gathered for his funeral.
It was only last week that Murray’s body returned to Jacksonville.
Patriot Guard Riders stood watch as active duty Marines, Sailors and civilians made their way inside First Baptist Church.
Murray was stationed at Camp Lejeune and part of the Second Raider Battalion before he died nearly a month ago, on July 7th, aboard the fatal KC 130 crash.
Murray leaves behind a wife and four young children. Childhood friends describe him as devoted to his family.
“He was a strong man of faith and a strong family man,” Gregory Hutto, a childhood friend, said. “I think his main goal in life was to live as a strong man of faith. He wanted everyone to know about his faith. He talked about it with everyone that he was with.”
Following the devastating news of the crash, the Jacksonville community rallied together to support the Murray family as well as the other Marines and Sailor who died.
“When these things happen it reminds us that we are a big family and it pulls us tighter together,” Ed Faute, with the Patriot Guard Riders, said.
Hundreds gathered to pay their final respects. After the service, Murray’s family followed the casket outside where it was loaded as Amazing Grace and taps were played.
The Patriot Guard Riders then escorted the Murrays out of the parking lot for the final time.
Murray will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His body is scheduled to travel to Virginia on August 14th.