Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was another tearful and emotional homecoming for a fallen solider this morning at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
Army Specialist Junot Cochilus, originally from Charlotte, N.C., was killed in Afghanistan May 2nd while serving his country. Cochilus deployed to Afghanistan in October of 2011 as a combat engineer. He was a member of the 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division based out of Fort Drum, N.Y.
He was born in Haiti but came to the USA in 2004 and became a naturalized citizen five years later. A few months after becoming a citizen, Cochilus joined the Army to serve his country.
Relatives from Haiti as well as Cochilus' wife's family from the Jacksonville area were on the tarmac to meet the body. Emotions were running so high, one of the family members collapsed from what was said to be a seizure.
The grieving family member was taken by ambulance to the base hospital. Another relative was also overcome and treated by medical personnel but left the base in the motorcade.
His awards include the Purple Heart (posthumous), Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge.
Friday Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a proclamation that all national and state flags at Jacksonville's City Hall and the Courthouse be flown at half-staff to honor Specialist Cochilus. The Governor's office said flags would be flown at half-staff Saturday in Cochilus' honor.
A memorial service is scheduled to take place Saturday, June 2nd, at Faith Baptist Church.
Burial will follow the service ad Jacksonville National Cemetery.
First Coast News