Family, friends and community members gathered in Temecula Friday to pay their respects to a U.S. Marine killed in a rocket attack in Iraq last month.
Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin died in Iraq on March 19 from wounds suffered when his unit was attacked with rocket fire at a base in northern Iraq. He was serving in Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the military's campaign against the Islamic State.
A closed-casket ceremony for the 27-year-old was held on the steps of the Civic Center. The ceremony included speeches from the mayor, members of congress, and a family representative who described the Marine as a genuine and reliable man.
"I would hear from marines, how they would call up Cardin at 3 in the morning for a ride back to base because somehow they were stranded and needed a safe ride home," said Manny Toldeo. "Without any delay, there he was, at the crack of dawn picking up a bunch of marines."
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Cardin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was a native of Riverside who moved to Temecula with his family, and graduated from Chaparral High School.
A private funeral will be held at Riverside National Cemetery on Saturday.
The last U.S. service member killed in Iraq was in October 2015.