People said their goodbyes today to Army Specialist Joseph Lucas. He was killed in Iraq earlier this month, just days before he was supposed to come home for Christmas.
General Randolph Strong, the commanding general of the U.S. Army signal center and Fort Gordon, says Specialist Lucas was killed by an explosion on a humvee in Iraq. December 15th is a day his wife and son, and everyone who knew him, will not soon forget.
"I've heard he was a tremendous soldier, well-liked by his peers, his superiors, and subordinates," said General Strong.
Even people who didn't know him came to say goodbye. Retired Master Sergeant Carl Pagano fought in Vietnam. He's one of many who brought his motorcycle to the funeral.
"I'm here to pay my respects to a very young, brave warrior," he said.
The memorial honors his life, and the two tours of service he served in his twenty three years. A bittersweet day for General Strong.
"A lot of times you want them to be uplifting to remember his life and the great things he's done...But there's also always the sadness, especially this one coming right around the christmas holiday," he said.
Specialist Lucas received several awards today: a purple heart, Iraqi campaign medal, global war on terrorism service medal, and a bronze star.