2nd Lieutenant Mark Procopio remembered in Burlington

11/13/05 12:00AM

(Host) Mourners gathered Saturday at the University of Vermont to remember Vermont National Guard Second Lieutenant Mark Procopio. Bells sounded across the green of his alma mater as a procession of family, friends, dignitaries, and men and women in dress uniform followed Procopio's flag-draped coffin into Ira Allen Chapel.

Procopio was killed on November second in Ramadi, Iraq, while trying to aid a helicopter that had been shot down.

Family and friends described his devotion to duty, his enthusiasm for life and how he loved his large extended family, and especially his wife, Erika. Erika Procopio is member of the Vermont National Guard and was serving in Kuwait at the time of his death.

Mark Procopio served as a platoon commander in Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion of the 172 Mountain Infantry. Lieutenant Colonel Jack Mosher, his Battalion Commander, spoke outside the chapel after Saturday's service:

(Mosher) "Every time we lose a soldier it's always so very difficult, as you can tell. But, I grieve each individually, I remember each individually, and we work extra hard to make sure that every soldier we send into combat has every lesson of those sacrifices behind them."

(Host) Mark Procopio is the fourth Vermont soldier to die in Ramadi since the unit's deployment in June. He was 28.
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