HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Marine killed, after being struck by a car in California on August 4, was laid to rest Tuesday afternoon at the Houston National Cemetery.
Lance Corporal Ruben Vega Jr. would have fulfilled his duties in April and had plans to move back to Houston. Instead, his family, friends, and a supportive community said their goodbyes.
Friends remember Vega as funny and someone who always tried to make people smile.
"He was like a brother to me...always tried to give him advice how to keep going, be strong and stay in school," says Alonso Ramirez, a friend who called himself a brother to Vega.
"From running to riding bikes, swimming together...it's all those memories that we have now," says Ramirez.
Word of Vega's tragic death spread quickly and as his funeral approached a video, posted to Facebook by a fellow Marine, rallied a community to come together and pay his fallen comrade, who served our country, the honors he deserved.
"The Jeep community is a generous community. A lot of them are veterans," says Randy Sanderlin, who operates Skyline Jeep Club. Sanderlin heard word of Vega's funeral through Ruck Up Jeep Club, a separate club to make sure veterans are honored.
As hundreds showed up to the funeral, Vega's mother seemed overwhelmed by the turnout because only a couple dozen were expected to show.
"I can't imagine, because my son is still living, how she's feeling right now. And I would certainly want someone to come out walk beside me through the journey of grieving and be there to support her afterwards," says Dotty Flint who runs the Houston chapter of the Military Mama Network.
"I'm pretty sure my brothers looking down from above, he's happy as well," says Ramirez.