GLOVERSVILLE - The sister of Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Denier says her brother died doing what he always wanted to do - serving his country - when he was killed by enemy fire Sunday in Afghanistan.
"He always wanted to be a Marine and in the military," said Maria Betts of Gloversville. "He died doing what he wanted, and that was to protect people and his country."
Betts said she and her family are proud of Denier, who lived in Mechanicville.
Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Denier
Betts said the Marines have been by her mother's side since two Marines came to tell her that her son had been killed in combat.
"The support of the Marines has been overwhelming," Betts said. "They really take care of their men and their men's families. We are so thankful to them."
Betts said her brother's body arrived at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Tuesday night.
Denier was not married. He is survived by his mother, a father who lives in Florida, and his sisters, Maria Betts and Amy Denier, who both live in Gloversville. Denier also has two nieces and four nephews whom he loved dearly, Betts said.
"He was a shy and wise person that was very caring," Betts said. "He loved his family and friends, and those that knew him loved him."
The Mechanicville native joined the Marines nearly two years after being a house and commercial painter. He graduated from Mechanicville High School and was a member of the Third Battalion 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team No. 7 of the First Marine Division. His stateside post was Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Before he was deployed to Afghanistan, he came home for 10 days from Camp Lejeune. The Deniers held a family gathering in his honor before he departed Oct. 26.
"It was really great and the whole family was there," Betts said.
Betts said her brother often would come to Gloversville during the holidays to visit his nieces and nephews.
She also said she spoke to him regularly on Facebook and sometimes on the phone while he was deployed.
The DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home in Mechanicville is in charge of funeral arrangements. Betts said it will be four to seven days before the body is flown to Albany International Airport.
The body will be met in Albany by a Marine Corps honor guard and family members.
Betts said there will be calling hours at the American Legion Post 91 on South Main Street in Mechanicville. Funeral services also will be held at the American Legion post, but the time and date are still being finalized. He will be buried in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.
"He will really be missed, and all of the family is so proud of him," Betts said.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.