Reporting Alex DeMetrick
LUTHERVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—Remembered by family, friends and even complete strangers. On Monday, a Maryland soldier murdered following the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan was laid to rest.
Alex DeMetrick reports from the Lutherville church where services were held for Maj. Robert Marchanti.
Maj. Marchanti died a long way from home. And on Monday, the people who made it a home, said goodbye.
The respect shown Maj. Marchanti preceded him to the Trinity Assembly of God Church.
A full-time soldier in Maryland’s Army National Guard, Maj. Marchanti was murdered last month in Afghanistan, leaving a wife and four children behind.
“He went there to provide for our family and serve his country, and he did it until the very end,” said Leah Marchanti, daughter.
“His job was as a mentor. He actually worked alongside of and with the Afghan police to help improve their police operations,” said Lt. Col. Charles Kohler, Maryland Army National Guard.
But it was one of those Afghan police officers that gunned down Marchanti. In the wake of the furor over the military’s burning of copies of the Quran, riots swept the country.
There were attacks on NATO troops.
Maj. Marchanti was one of two U.S. soldiers assassinated by the Afghan cop, who is still at large.
“I hope the military’s watching this and whoever it is that goes out and is looking for the man who did this to my father, I hope they find that coward and take care of him,” said Aaron Marchanti.
But that hunger for justice was an undercurrent Monday. First and foremost, there was a life to remember and appreciate.
“My dad, he was the perfect image of love,” said Leah Marchanti. “He just showed us how much he loved our mom and how much he loved us.”
“The way he showed the boys in the family how to treat a woman and how to be a good husband. Undeniably, that is what I will remember most about my father,” Aaron Marchanti said.
Maj. Marchanti will be buried with full honors Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.