A member of the New York National Guard who grew up in Connecticut was laid to rest today.
Staff Sergeant Todd "TJ" Lobraico was killed last Thursday in Afghanistan.
In addition to his own family, both of his parents are in the military.
His sister was carrying the flag behind them. There were hundreds of members of his extended family from his New York based national guard unit as well as the brother and sisterhood of police.
His father is also on the Stamford Police force. The loss of Sgt. Lobraico brings the number of Connecticut residents lost in battle since September 11, 2001, to 65.
The 22-year old was planning a career in law enforcement, like his dad.
But in a small arms attack on September 5 near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, he gave his life in defense of his comrades.
As police from Stamford, New York City, and city and towns across both states stood at attention, so were his high school pals from Sherman, including one that started his bond with him 12 years ago this week.
"I first met staff sergeant Lobraico my first day of sixth grade on September 10, 2001, and who would know that the next day would be the events that lead to his death today,” said friend John Carhuff.
All of his friends, part of the 9/11 generation, expressed similar feelings.
"When I got the news, I was heart broken. I just couldn't believe I'd ever be in a situation like this It's very surreal. I just can't believe it,” said Karl Knipple.
"It just broke my heart to lose a good friend of mine, and my thoughts go out the family as well,” said Alex Ehreneich.
"I grew up with him, he was my first best friend, and I also served in the National Guard with him. I have a certain bond,” said Alex Cheney.
“He was a great kid...he had a great grin that made you laugh.”
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