MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Two weeks after the death of Lance Corporal Jeremiah Collins, Jr., friends and family gathered to say goodbye to the Milwaukee Marine on Saturday morning, October 19th.
L Cpl Collins, 19, was killed while serving in Afghanistan on October 5th.
"We heard about it this past weekend and we just knew we had to get up here for it so we did whatever we could to get up here and the Patriot Guard has helped us a tremendous amount," said Brian Harris, who trained with Collins.
Harris and Nathan Ewell, who also trained with Collins, traveled to Milwaukee to pay final respects to their friend and comrade.
"We would message on Facebook every so often and he told me he loved it out there and if he could, he would've stayed out there," said Harris.
The two Marines say Collins not only made them laugh, but also inspired them during training.
"Some of our training we did as a class was we did grappling matches and he loved doing that. He never tapped. We almost broke his ankle one time but he didn't want to tap," said Ewell.
As services wrapped up, sorrow was etched on the faces of many, including those who never knew Collins. His brothers in arms say that's a sight Collins wouldn't have wanted to see.
"On Facebook we would end a conversation, I would just tell him to stay safe. He'd just tell me to stop being so damn sappy. That's probably what he'd say today," Harris said.
The Patriot Guard also provided Harris and Ewell a place to stay over the weekend as well as collected funds to pay for the flights to and from Milwaukee.