Fallen military hero buried at Saratoga National Cemetery

Fallen military hero buried at Saratoga National Cemetery

John Grassia III was buried at Saratoga National Cemetery.

The body of John Grassia III, the New York National Guard serviceman who died in a helicopter crash on the U.S.-Mexico border on March 8, was taken to Saratoga National Cemetery on Tuesday, following his funeral.

The burial ceremony took place in the back of Saratoga National Cemetery.

Mourners could hear the procession driving up. It was a somber moment when the car carrying Grassia’s body pulled up.

Grassia was given full military honors. Bagpipes played “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” as mourners, including dozens of New York state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers, lined the street. They saluted Grassia as his casket was moved from the car to the gazebo, where he was placed for the service.

Several Patriot Guard Riders held American flags throughout the ceremony, and three helicopters flew over as part of the military honor.

Grassia, who is from Rotterdam, enlisted in 2013 and was a Black Hawk helicopter maintenance specialist. He also worked as a New York State Police trooper, last stationed at Troop K in Columbia County.

“He was a well-respected trooper by not only by his supervisors, but also his peers,” said State Police Troop K Maj. Kathryne Rohde. “He had a great personality and was always known for giving everybody a laugh when needed.”

Grassia has been described as a true hero and dedicated to his craft.