The young Marine who made headlines last year when he asked to wear his uniform instead of robes to graduation has died.
According to the Daily Mail, 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant was one of three U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb Friday morning in Afghanistan.
Those who knew Garabrant are in mourning, with the Fire Department where he volunteered flying its flag at half staff. (Via NECN)
Fire Chief George Clark: "Especially on a small town like us, we do feel the impact. You know, we lost a brother." (Via NECN)
Garabrant's former boss said of the soldier, "He was just one of those good guys that got up every morning wanting to make the world a better place." (Via WFXT)
Last year, Garabrant completed his high school work early and then spent 13 weeks in boot camp. He finished his training the day before graduation. (Via WBZ-TV)
That's when Garabrant asked if he could wear his uniform to receive his diploma and was denied.
The headlines began pouring in and the story even went national, surprising the teen who told the local newspaper, "I didn’t think it would get as much notice as it did.” (Via Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)
New York Daily News reports Principal Brian Pickering, who let Garabrant wear a Marine Corps T-shirt under his graduation robes as a compromise, told reporters, "We are all shocked and deeply saddened by his passing, and we are incredibly grateful for his service to our country."
Garabrant's mother also told NECN her son had a heart of gold, loved life, loved God and was a servant.