With a backdrop of cloudy skies and planes landing nearby, the body of fallen Marine Leopold Damas was welcomed back to North Carolina on Saturday by saluting Marines and weeping family members.
The 26-year-old lance corporal, a rifleman based at Camp Lejeune, died Aug. 17 during a battle with militants in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province. He had previously served two tours of duty in Iraq.
His body was flown to Wilson Air Center, near Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, where it was met by two groups of retired Marines. They stood on the tarmac and saluted as Damas' body was carried to a waiting hearse by an honor guard.
Originally from Queens, N.Y., Damas will be buried at Crown Memorial Park in Pineville so family members who have relocated here can visit his grave. Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Newsday