By Nicholas Grube
On an overcast day when rain intermingled with tears, Oregon National Guard Capt. Bruno de Solenni was laid to rest in his hometown of Crescent City.
More than three hundred people, including family, friends and fellow soldiers, were on hand Saturday morning to say their good-byes to de Solenni, 32, who died while on duty in Afghanistan last month.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski came to Crescent City for the ceremonies and spoke at de Solenni's burial mass inside a packed St. Joseph Catholic Church where many observers were left standing outside in the rain.
"He was from a very small community on the edge of our country. But he defended our entire nation," Kulongoski said. "He was truly the best our country had to give."
The Oregon Military Funeral Honors Team ¬ó considered one of the best honor guards in the nation ¬ó gave a 21 gun salute and a played "Taps" on a bugle at the Crescent City cemetery where de Solenni's body was buried.
Bruno de Solenni graduated from Del Norte High School in 1994. Two years later he joined the Oregon National Guard.
He was on his third tour of duty when he was killed by an improvised explosive device that struck his vehicle on Sept. 20. Two Afghan interpreters were also killed in the blast, and another U.S. soldier was injured.
Bruno de Solenni's previous deployments were to Sinai, Egypt in 2003 and Iraq in 2005.