OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The body of a U.S. Marine has arrived in Nebraska after he was killed while delivering relief supplies to Nepal villages devastated by earthquakes.
Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, 29, of Wilcox, died last month when the helicopter he was flying crashed in Nepal. Five other Marines and two Nepalese soldiers also were killed.
Lukasiewicz is survived by his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Isabelle. He and his wife are expecting a son later this month.
Lukasiewicz’s casket arrived at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield late Monday afternoon and was met by his family, firetrucks from the towns of Elba, St. Paul and Farwell, as well as two units from the Howard County Sheriff’s Office.
“He’s a soldier of ours,” said Michael Higgins, a training officer from the Elba Fire Department. “We’re from a small town. So it’s to show the respect and support him, and his father, who served in our department.”
The Marine honor guard carried the casket to a hearse for the 135-mile journey to St. Paul, where services are to be held on Saturday. He will be buried with full military honors at St. Anthony’s Cemetery near Farwell.
Hundreds of people lined the streets in St. Paul to honor the return of Lukasiewicz’s body. Several who knew Lukasiewicz’s family made sure to attend the gathering.
Janet Edwards said she’s close to Lukasiewicz’s grandparents and that one of her grandsons is his cousin. Watching his casket pass by was the least she said she could do to show his family that they had her support.
“There’s nothing to say, and there’s nothing to do but show up,” Edwards said.