The remains of an MCAS Miramar-based Marine killed in a helicopter crash while training near El Centro returned to San Diego on Saturday.
Gunnery Sgt. Derik R. Holley was killed on April 3 along with three other Marines: Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips and Capt. Samuel A. Schultz.
Holley, 33, and his crewmates were aboard the CH-53E Super Stallion when it went down for unknown reasons. The Marines were training to land in unimproved terrain, according to military officials.
Holley was originally from Dayton, Ohio, but met wife in San Diego and started a family here. His body arrived at Lindbergh Field around 6 p.m. Patriot Guards then led the procession from the airport to Greenwood Mortuary in Mountain View.
“If they’re going to sacrifice that for our country we’re definitely going to honor them,” said Lorenzo Lizarraga, region captain in the Southern California Patriot Guard. “Even though we didn’t know the individual, he put on a uniform just like we did.”
The guards wanted to honor Holley, who made the ultimate sacrifice serving his country.
"I’m 74 years old and I’m standing in the flag line sometimes with a tear in my eye,” Lizarraga said.
A memorial service for Holley is scheduled for Tuesday at MCAS Miramar.