Processional today for fallen marine; family talks about their loved one - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Body of fallen marine returns home; family talks about their loved one

Posted by Amber Jenkins- email

BATAVIA, OH (FOX19) - Funeral arrangements have been made for 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Tony Wojciechowski, a local marine who was killed in Iraq last week.

The community is being asked to stand along the processional route as his body travels from Lunken airport to Mt. Carmel Christian Church on Thursday, May 7. The processional will begin at 2 p.m.

The route will start on Wilmer Avenue, making a slight right at Old State Route 74. It will then turn right on State Route 32, then right on Glen Este-Withamsville Road. At Clough pike the motorcade will turn right, making a left at Edinburgh Drive, then left at Cannon Gate Drive, a right at Regent Road, turning left at Mount Carmel-Tobasco Road. The processional will end when the motorcade will turn left on State Route 125 (Beechmont) to Nurre Funeral Home.

Visitation will be on Friday, May 8 from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Mt. Carmel Christian Church.

A memorial service is scheduled to be on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m.

A private burial is planned for family and close friends only.

Wojciechowski's family talked to FOX19 about the brave marine. They said he wanted to be a marine since he was three years old. He signed up when he was 17 and still in high school at Glen Este.

In seven years, this marine was already a staff sergeant on his third enlistment and second tour of duty in Iraq.

"He's very exact, very determined, was a very dedicated soldier, he was dedicated to his family and dedicated to the cause," said Tony's grandfather, Dave Grose.

Not long ago, he graduated top of his class in the E.O.D. Branch of the Marines. He was one of the best of the best in defusing explosives.

"Tony assured us all the time that he loved what he was doing and I don't know of very many people that can say, 'I love my job,'" said his aunt, Sue Kroner. He loved it, he loved what he did he lived for what he did. He loved the Marines, they were like a big tight family."

His goal was to become an E.O.D. instructor, but at 9:30 p.m. last Thursday, three Marines showed up at the Wojciechowski doorstep.

"When I opened the door, there was three marines in uniform standing on the porch and I knew immediately what it was," said Tony's stepfather, Tony Dillinger. "My wife came around the corner and was not prepared either, ran back through the house. You hope that day never comes and when it does you just know what it is."

The only details on Tony's death are that he was in full combat gear, and he had to be identified by his dog tags.

"When he was in Iraq the first time I used to think, 'Boy if I drove by here and saw a military car here what would I do?' Because you think those thoughts, but when it happens you're just not prepared for it," said his grandmother, Judy Grose.

Tony's family is filled with military - both sets of his parents, his grandparents, uncles, all family by blood and belief.

His mom, who is now with Tony, bringing him home from Dover Air Force Base, would often look to this 25 year old for advice. They had the kind of relationship any mother would dream of.

They will miss him.. But know in their hearts he died doing what he loved and what he believed in.

"I want everyone to know, Tony died a hero, there're really no other word for it," said Kroner.

"It's just like a little verse, he's left out house, but he hasn't left our hearts and we'll love him always," said his grandfather.

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