WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Family, friends and veterans escorted the body of Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwork, 21, from the Wilmington International Airport this afternoon.
Vanderwork died alongside six of his fellow Marines when a mortar shell accidentally exploded during training last week at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada.
The plane carrying the Vanderwork's body arrived at the airport around 7:00 Thursday night.
Marines carried his flag-draped casket to the hearse waiting nearby.
Members of the Patriot Guard, a group of veterans and bikers, and Human Wall for Fallen Soldiers greeted the family and friends of the young Marine, by lining the street leading to the airport with American flags.
Vanderwork's family will be escorted by the military support groups to Onslow Beach, where a memorial service will be held this weekend. His family will also hold a second memorial in Hickory on Monday, where he will be buried with full military honors.
"We feel their grief and we grieve with them," said Gary Anderson, a Patriot Guard rider.
Vanderwork was stationed at Camp Lejeune.
He leaves behind a wife, Taylor, his parents and younger sister.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All Rights Reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard