Burlington, NC -- Friends, family, the Burlington community and military service members paid respects to the fallen marine.
19-year-old Anthony Romano-Caruso was found dead one week ago in his barracks in Ft. Meade, MD.
His family held visitation in his hometown Saturday from 6-8pm at Rich & Thompson Funeral Home. The Patriot Guard Riders lined the entry with flags saluting the marine.
"If you ask any of his friends, any of his family, he was the jokester, he wanted to make the situation happy, he would be here trying to cheer people up and make them smile," said Anthony's father, Anthony Romano-Caruso.
Romano-Caruso, a Burlington Williams High School graduate, was an active duty Marine assigned since February. He followed his grandfather's footsteps when he enlisted in the military.
"He knew what he wanted to do from the beginning and he stuck with it and did it," added Anthony's father.
Naval Criminal Investigative Services is still trying to determine how Romano-Caruso died. The NCIS looks into non-combat related deaths.
News 2 wondered if not knowing a cause of death changed the Patriot Guard Rider's mission. Rick Rohme, a member of the Guard told us it never matters to them how a serviceman or woman died. They just care that they served and they will always come when asked.
"It's payback, you know, these guys defend our country, it's the only way we can show thank you, you know, when they pass," said Todd Mitchell, Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders.
The funeral will take place Sunday at 3pm at the Rich & Thompson Funeral Home in Burlington. The burial will take place at Alamance Memorial Park.
Related: Burlington Marine Found Dead
Related: Patriot Guards Escort Pvt Anthony Caruso's Body Home