MILWAUKEE -- Along the procession route for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner after his funeral Wednesday, Feb. 13 were members of the military.
The hearse carrying the body of Officer Rittner passed by the Marine Corps Reserve Unit in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood on Wednesday evening. Members of the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard lined the street -- standing at attention for their brother in arms.
"It's an honor to be out here and show that respect," said SSgt. Edward Wiley.
Rittner enlisted in 2003. He served eight years -- and deployed to the Middle East twice. The men he served with say Sergeant Rittner was the Marine every Marine wanted to be. He served with honor, courage and commitment.
"For those of us who have worn a uniform, it means something to us," said SSgt. Wiley.
Many of the Marines Rittner served with attended a private ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 12. Others who never met the officer, came to pay their respects Wednesday -- because that is what Marines do.
"The Marines of Fox Company 2-24... Anytime, anything they need," said SSgt. Wiley. "We all wear the uniform and we all have a common goal, which is to protect and serve our country and our community."
"Whether that Marine just enlisted or that Marine is 90 years old, he or she is always a Marine," said Sgt. Major Jay Heitink.
There is a saying in the Marine Corps, "Once a Marine. Always a Marine." That is always true for family members, and the Rittner family will always be part of the Marine Corps family.