Funeral held for New Braunfels Marine killed in combat

Sgt. Thomas Spitzer laid to rest

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Braunfels was filled with family and friends Monday morning to remember Sgt. Thomas Spitzer.

The 23-year-old Marine was killed while conducting combat operations in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan on June 25.

"He was always there for you when you needed him," said Pfc. Wesley Fraunhofer, a childhood friend. "He was extremely serious when he had to be, but could put a smile on your face."

Support was evident around St. Paul Lutheran Church, including 130 Patriot Guard Riders who lined the streets with American flags.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine. Only a Marine can take a Marine home," said John Caillouette, a member of the Leathernecks Republic Motorcycle Club and a Marine who served in Vietnam.

Others who lined the street with flags did not know Spitzer.

Connie Barber, a wife of a combat veteran, brought her children to pay respects.

"I hope that it helps them to know that there's people out there that still care and are thankful for what their family did for us," said Barber.

Spitzer's body was transported to Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, where he was laid to rest.  

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