WESTHAMPTON BEACH - The body of an Air National Guardsman from Coram who died in an Afghan suicide bombing arrived on Long Island Thursday with a formal military reception.
Sgt. Louis Bonacasa's body landed at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach for Thursday's ramp ceremony in his honor at the Air National Guard base.
An Air Force honor guard in full-dress uniform greeted his casket after its final flight from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
"With heroes like Louis, we have incurred a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to fully repay," remarked base commander Col. Timothy LaBarge.
The honor guard escorted the casket out of the hangar to a hearse as pipers played “Amazing Grace,” and members of the 105th Airlift and 106th Air Rescue units gave a final salute.
Bonacasa, 31, attended Newfield High School and joined the Air Force shortly after graduation.
Sgt. Bonacasa leaves behind a 5-year-old daughter Lily and his wife of 11 years, Deborah.
Five other soldiers died in the attack. The funeral for his bunkmate, Westchester native and NYPD Detective Joseph Lemm, was Wednesday.
Visitation for Sgt. Bonacasa was scheduled at the Branch Funeral Home in Miller Place Thursday and will continue Friday from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m.
His funeral will be held Saturday morning at New Beginnings Christian Center in Coram followed by burial at Calverton National Cemetery.