Sunday, August 26, 2007

Paulo Marko Pacificador laid to rest

Family and friends of a fallen Shirley soldier honored a man described as "full of life" and "a hero" at his funeral and burial Wednesday.

Cpl. Paulo Marko Pacificador, 24, and three other soldiers were killed Aug. 13 in Qayyarah, Iraq, when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle, according to the Department of Defense. He was promoted posthumously from private first class to corporal.

Dozens of mourners attended Pacificador's funeral Mass Wednesday morning at St. Jude's Roman Catholic Church in Mastic Beach, said his high school friend, Tim Greene.

"He was just a really genuine guy," said Greene, 23. "He was very determined. He was very proud, because he wanted to get everything together and start to make a life for himself."

Greene said he nearly cried after an Army officer announced at the funeral that Pacificador had been awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

"The parents stood up and everyone else just stood up, clapping out of proudness," Greene said. "And the father was very teary."

Greene said the procession to Calverton National Cemetery, where Pacificador was buried, was flanked by rows of firetrucks parked along the shoulders, with firefighters hoisting American flags over the roadway.

Pacificador was born in 1982 in the Philippines. Six years later, he moved with his family to Virginia, and later to Queens. Around 2001, they moved to Shirley, where Pacificador graduated from William Floyd High School, his family said.

He then studied computer engineering at Suffolk County Community College, his family said.

Following a family tradition of military service, Pacificador enlisted in the Army and was sent to Iraq in October.

He was attached to the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Pacificador's grandfather and father, Jose Pacificador, served as soldiers in the Philippines.

Near the end of the burial service, the soldier's father and mother, Elsie, placed a rose on his coffin, said one observer, Barbara Kruk.

Then, Jose Pacificador raised his arm in a salute to his son.

From Newsday

Related Link:
Paulo Marko U. Pacificador dies 'of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device'