BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Community members filled the streets when Sgt. Brett Gornewicz's casket was driven through the streets of western New York. The community was remembering their hometown hero, gone too soon. Loved ones say Sgt. Brett Gornewicz got the welcome home he deserved.
The Patriot Guard led the procession from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Brett Gornewicz was greeted by somber, patriotic faces. One community member said, "He deserves all this but would have wanted none of it."
>> PHOTO GALLERY | Remembering Sgt. Gornewicz
The Veteran's Day honor was for a fallen veteran, so humble, he never told most of his friends and family about the Bronze Star of Valor he won saving fellow soldiers.
Friend Joe Weisbeck said, "He was just genuine. When you talked, he listened. And it's hard to find that."
The 27-year-old Alden native had recently received his degree in mechanical engineering. He and his fiancee looked forward to settling in North Carolina in just a couple of months, upon finishing his tour of duty.
That tour was cut short when Sgt. Gornewicz's in Afghanistan was hit by an IED.
Gornewicz's cousin Marcia Russo said, "The ultimate sacrifice, he did it for all of us. How symbolic this week is this is the week we voted, and tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and it's because of people like Brett and soldiers like Brett, that allows us to keep doing that."
Gornewicz received the Bronze Medal of Honor for saving the lives of some fellow soldiers when his unit was ambushed earlier this year. Monday, loved ones will say their final goodbyes. His funeral is set for 11 a.m. at St. John's Roman Catholic Church, in Alden.
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