Funeral for Mass. Marine killed in Afghanistan

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FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (AP/MyFoxBoston.com) -- A funeral was held Monday for a U.S. Marine from Massachusetts who was killed in combat operations in Afghanistan earlier this month.

The funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Rodriguez was held at the First Congregational Church in his hometown of Fairhaven. He was buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Thousands said their goodbyes Sunday at his wake in Mattapoisett.

The 19-year-old Rodriguez died Dec. 11 during combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. He was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force based in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Rodriguez graduated in 2012 from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and enlisted in the Marines in August of the same year.

According to his obituary on the Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Homes website, Rodriguez was known as "Matt-Man" and "Smiley," loved being an uncle, and was an avid Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox sports fan.

In addition to his parents, Matthew is survived by his fiancée and his three siblings.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that remembrances be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.