MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Funeral services took place Friday for a fallen South Florida soldier who died in an apparently accidental crash of a drug-hunting plane in Colombia.
CBS4 was invited by the family to attend the mass for U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Martin Laureano Gonzales.
The mass was held at Coral Gables Congregational Church and followed by cremation at Vista Memorial gardens & Funeral Home in Miami Lakes.
“Outstanding and amazing husband an amazing father and an amazing airman,” said military Chaplin Ronnie King.
“I had the most respect for him, a really nice person. He loved his job he loved his family and he served his country well every time I would talk to him he was flying all over the place and doing things,” added family friend Juliet Ramdeen.
Gonzales’s remains were flown into Miami International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 22 and received a full military honors reception.
Gonzales, 39, was one of three Americans killed in an Oct. 5th plane crash in Colombia while taking part in an operation targeting drug traffickers.
The longtime airman, from Miramar, leaves behind his young wife, a little boy and girl.
“Michelle, the wife, wants people to know that her husband was a hero. He served his country well, that he loved what he was doing that he loved his family and that he was prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chaplin King.
A memorial is also planned on Monday at U.S. Southern Command in Doral.