Exclusive: Family, friends remember fallen New Bedford Marine
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) — The body of Marine Sgt. Samuel Michael Demers was escorted home by local and state police to New Bedford from Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport Tuesday.
The soldier died unexpectedly where he lived in California on June 20.
“I wasn’t emotional at all today until I saw the people on the overpasses,” said Greg Demers’, Sam’s father. “They stopped their cars and were saluting as they went by — that’s when it hit me.”
“It filled up the hole in my chest that’s been there ever since he has passed. How much prouder could you be of your son to have people come out throughout their day of people who never knew him, never heard of him, but just know that he was a good person? He was a marine, and he had a family. To come out and show love for that — it was huge,” he continued.
Demers graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. He served for seven years in the Marine Corp in Romania, Japan, and Iraq.
Fellow platoon member, Hayden Cooper, explained, “He always had a saying, I always loved it. He said, ‘You always have to be a good man before you can be a good Marine.’ He always worked on himself as a man. I think if I had one more day with him, I would explain to him that he made it.”
Sam leaves behind a wife, daughter, and dozens of loved ones.
“The only thing I would say to him now is, ‘I got the girls, I’m going to take care of the girls. Don’t worry about them, you can rest now,” His father concluded.
Funeral services will be held in New Bedford this Friday. Mayor Jon Mitchell has ordered all flags in the city to fly at half-staff until then.