DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - For a few minutes on Range Avenue in Denham Springs on Thursday, it seemed as though the whole town stopped, as silence fell over the street that was filled with hundreds of people and the only noise was from a white hearse carrying USMC Staff Sgt. Adam Koczrowski.
"No matter who he came in contact with, he left some sort of positive impact, whether it be a mentor, a friend, even with the kids," said Brittany Koczrowski, the Marine's widow.
The impact of the 29-year-old's life was easy to see in the tear-streaked faces of the people who gathered to see him home one last time, most waving bright American flags. Ahead of the Marine rolled the Patriot Guard and law enforcement officers who escorted him all the way from the airport in New Orleans.
Koczrowski was killed in a car accident on March 10. He was a combat instructor stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
It has been a hard week for Louisiana, losing four National Guardsmen in a training accident, along with seven Marines out of North Carolina. Those deaths were preceded by the murder of a US marshal in Baton Rouge. Koczrowski's death was one day later. The grief for all those lost is still very raw for many.
However, Koczrowski's wife said her husband would have preferred that people smiled Wednesday.
"He just wanted everybody to be happy and wanted everyone to have a positive outlook on life," Brittany Koczrowski added.
According to his parents, Koczrowski wanted to serve from the time he was young. It's a desire, it seems, that has been passed on to his son.
"A couple of weeks before this happened, he said, 'I want to be a Marine just like daddy.' I think it's an important thing to allow him to do that, to achieve things that his daddy did," Brittany Koczrowski explained.
The Marine's family supported his decision to serve proudly, even coordinating care packages for his unit while it was deployed overseas. Those Marines his family cared for back then are returning the support now. Brittany Koczrowski said she's been overwhelmed by how many people have reached out to help her family in this difficult time.
"He probably didn't realize how many people cared for him the way that they do. It's rewarding to get to see that and the kind of impact that he had on everybody," Brittany Koczrowski said.
Visitation will be held at the Abundant Life Church in Denham Springs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. The funeral service will begin at the church at 11 a.m. Saturday. Internment with military honors will be rendered in Port Hudson National Cemetery in Zachary at 1:30 p.m.
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