The Alden community is mourning the death of a local soldier after he was killed in Afghanistan this weekend. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us more about Specialist Brett Gornewicz and how he'll be remembered.
ALDEN, N.Y. — Friends of 27-year-old Specialist Brett Gornewicz say they couldn't believe it when they heard he wouldn't be coming home.
The Department of Defense says Gornewicz and two other soldiers died after enemy forces attacked their unit in Afghanistan Saturday.
"He did his first tour in Iraq, and he got through it fine, and I figured he was going to get through this one as well, and in two months, I was expecting to see him come home," said Andrew Bermel, one of Gornewicz's friends.
Gornewicz's father says he was hard working, very loyal to the military and never questioned his mission.
He says his son was home for two weeks in August. and planned his leave around the Erie County Fair - which he loved.
His friends say he didn't really talk about his tour while he was home. but he was very upbeat.
"I think he just enjoyed being around his friends and his family, and just enjoying the short time that he had," said Steve Zinter, another friend.
Gornewicz graduated from Alden High School in 2003 and earned a degree in Industrial Technology from Buffalo State last year.
Friends say he was proud to serve his country and they weren't surprised he chose this path.
Bermel said, "He always liked GIJoes, Army, when we were younger."
Monday, his friends got together to look at pictures and reminisce, "It was the only thing we could think of doing. It was the best thing to do," said Brian Peebles.
Bermel said, "He would do anything for anybody. He always had a way to come in to wherever we were and just brighten up the spot."
"He wanted to make everybody else happy, he was content being in the background and just liked being part of the great friendships we have here," said Andrew Smith.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.