CORAM - A solemn funeral service was held Saturday for the New York Air National Guard staff sergeant from Coram who was killed in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of people attended the service for Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa at the New Beginnings Christian Center in Coram. Bonacasa was one of six soldiers killed in a suicide bombing while on patrol in Afghanistan last week.
Local officials, members of the Nassau and Suffolk police departments and NYPD, firefighters and military members joined Bonacasa's family to pay their respects. A large American flag was draped across the entrance of the Christian center, and bagpipes played as the coffin was carried.
The 31-year-old husband and father was remembered as a passionate patriot who had been deployed four times since joining the Air National Guard in 2008.
He was also remembered as a devoted family man. "You made me the happiest woman alive by showing me the meaning of true love and giving me the greatest gift of all: our daughter," Bonacasa's wife said at the service. She added that their 5-year-old daughter "is the strength I need to keep me going."
After the service, Bonacasa was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery.