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Funeral Service for Local Marine Killed in War

Lance Corporal Eric Orlowski
Lance Corporal Eric Orlowski

Buffalo, NY – A funeral service was held Saturday for Marine Lance Corporal Eric Orlowski, the first local serviceman to die in the war with Iraq.

"War is grim and ugly and not without cost," said Fr. Joseph Penkaul who presided over Orlowski's funeral at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Cheektowaga.

Orlowski, 26, was killed March 22 in an accidental discharge of a .50-caliber machine gun.

"May we never forget that behind each name there is a story of a life, a story of hope, dreams and loved ones, cut down by a bullet or bomb," Penkaul said.

"I will love you always and forever," Orlowski's mother said in a message read by Penkaul at the church.

At St. Matthew's cemetery in West Seneca, Marines presented Orlowski's parents, Kathleen Zdzinski and Phillip Orlowski, with American flags. Orlowski's 3-year-old daughter, CamerynLee, squirmed in the bitter wind on the lap of her mother, Nicole Kross.

A bugler played Taps following a 21-gun salute. An Erie County Sheriff's deputy escorted a riderless horse.

Orlowski had been a reservist about three years. He was assigned to the 2nd Tank Battalion of the 2nd Marine Division based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.