FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) - About 200 people gathered on a Florida beach to mourn a Marine killed during a live-fire training exercise at a California desert base.
The Naples Daily News reported that law enforcement officers and veterans joined Marines in saluting Lance Cpl. Austin J. Ruiz of Naples at the service Sunday under a gazebo in Lovers Key State Park.
Emylie Barlow of Naples said her 19-year-old cousin had been the first person in the family to enlist in the military. Barlow wore fatigues to the service and said Ruiz had inspired her to enlist in the Marines as well.
Ruiz died Jan. 13 during training involving firearms in preparation for a larger exercise at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base. He was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division and based in Hawaii.