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Soldier killed in live-fire training gets hero's homecoming in New Jersey

Spc. Nicholas DiMona was killed March 30, 2019 during a live-fire training accident in Alaska.

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By THE BURLINGTON COUNTY TIMES Published: April 11, 2019

EVESHAM, N.J. (Tribune News Service) — U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas DiMona, III was given a hero's escort back to Burlington County on Wednesday as veterans, first responders and community members lined the route from where his body was received at Philadelphia International Airport to a township funeral home.

"Everybody here is family. We sent Nick off when he joined and we said we would bring him home, ' said a family member who asked not to be identified by name outside the Bradley Funeral Home on Route 73. "It was suppose to be under better circumstances."

DiMona, 20, was killed March 30 during a live-fire training accident in Alaska. His death came some 15 years after his father, Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas DiMona II, was killed in 2004 in a military training accident when his helicopter crashed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He was 32 and had served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The younger DiMona grew up in Medford Lakes with his mother and younger sister. He joined the Army — his lifelong dream according to family — after graduating from Shawnee High School in 2017. The paratrooper was remembered as "such a good-hearted, dedicated young man with so much potential."

On Wednesday, members of the Warriors Watch escorted the hearse carrying DiMona from Philadelphia to the funeral home. Funeral services will take place Monday night at St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church and a funeral Mass will be held Tuesday.

First responders also lined the route Wednesday with large flags waving.

"Out of respect for our service members, anything we can do to demonstrate that respect, is important to us," said Mount Laurel Fire, Battalion Chief Larry Fox.

DiMona had been in Alaska since April 2018. His awards included the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the parachutist badge.

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©2019 Burlington County Times, Willingboro, N.J.
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