Remains of two fallen Capital Region soldiers arrive home

Remains from fallen soldiers head to local funeral homes

Remains from fallen soldiers head to local funeral homes

The remains of two fallen Capital Region soldiers killed in a helicopter crash at the U.S.-Mexico border more than a week ago arrived back home on Monday afternoon.

Chief Warrant Officer Casey Frankoski and Chief Warrant Officer John Grassia III died in the crash on March 8. Their remains were escorted aboard a New York Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft flown by the guard’s 109th Airlift Wing. The plane landed at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Latham just after 3 p.m.

Their flag-draped coffins were carried across the tarmac as their families and soldiers saluted by guests such as Major Gen. Ray Shields, adjutant general of New York and .Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The bodies were transported into hearses provided by W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home Inc. of Rensselaer and Glenville Funeral Home.

The procession is proceeding past the Colonie Police Department and then they will head their separate ways to funeral homes in Rensselaer and Glenville.

Frankoski, 28, worked as a New York National Guard pilot and was also the daughter of retired Rensselaer Police Chief James Frankoski.

Funeral services for Frankoski will be held this week. Frankoski’s procession route will run from Albany International Airport to the W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home in Rensselaer.

Calling hours are set for Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph’s Church on Herrick Street. The service is open to the public.

The funeral is set for Friday at 11 a.m. at the church. Frankoski will then be laid to rest at Saratoga National Cemetery.

Grassia, 30, of Albany County was a New York State trooper. His procession will go from Latham to Glenville Funeral Home on Glenridge Road.

Calling hours will be held on Monday, March 25 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St.  John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John’s Tuesday at 11 a.m. He will be buried at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. 

Rensselaer High School graduate Jacob Pratt was on the helicopter, too. He was severely hurt and is recovering.

You can see the procession routes here.

John Grassia and Casey Frankoski