TONAWANDA, NY ( WKBW ) Outside of the Amigone Funeral home in Tonawanda, an army of family and friends held flags in honor of 21-year-old Lance Corporal Timothy Serwinowski.
"I can't even imagine getting that knock at my door. But at least he died for our country doing what he wanted to do," said Linda Pierce, Serwinowski's neighbor.
Serwinowski was killed Monday by sniper fire in a southwest province of Afghanistan.
"My heart goes out to all the family and the friends, there are no words," said Pierce.
Officials reporting 87 international troops killed this month alone. At least 51 of them U.S. soldiers, making June already the most deadly month since the war began. And with General Stanley McChrystal stepping down and his former boss General David Petraeus taking over, some worry the shake-up could lead to more violence. But, General Petraeus met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Saturday, assuring him the U.S. war strategy won't change.
General Petraeus is also promising to increase cooperation among the forces and continue to train Afghan police and soldiers.
Meanwhile, the families of fallen soldiers are coping as best they can with the heroic choices made by their loved ones.
"You know to be willing to take that risk for your country and you're family to keep us safe here is just the ultimate sacrifice," said Marla Duerr, a family friend of Serwinowski.