The southern Minnesota town of Waseca paid its last respects Monday to Marine Cpl. Caleb Erickson as he was laid to rest, the Waseca County News reports.
Erickson, 20, was killed Feb. 28 while serving in Afghanistan when his convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber.
Grace Lutheran Church was filled to capacity for his funeral service, as friends and family recalled Erickson's dedication to serving his country, the Mankato Free Press reports. They said he died "doing what he loves."
Erickson graduated from Waseca High School in 2012, and enlisted in the Marines shortly afterward.
Gwen Katula, a relative of Caleb’s father, told the mourners that Erickson had been considering adding chaplain service to his Marine career, according to the Waseca County News. She remembered an occasion when Erickson helped another student who was being bullied.
“He had a heart of gold and it was big enough to love everyone,” Katula said.
Rev. Dan Doering said he remembers Erickson attending church functions when he was younger.
"I look forward to meeting him again in heaven. I look forward to thanking him (for his service)," he said, according to the Free Press.
Following the funeral, a long procession brought Erickson's body to Woodville Cemetery for burial. Hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their last respects.