Christine D'Antonio reporting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They are the faces of just a few of the fallen soldiers from our area who gave their lives while serving our country this past year.

Brave faces that represent the true meaning of memorial day like Josh Martino.

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A Marine who, at age 19, was laid to rest after dying during a training exercise.

Pennsylvania National Guard pilot Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Ruffner was 34 when he perished in a helicopter crash April 9 in Afghanistan. He was with Pa. National Guard Warrant Officer Jarett Yoder at the time.

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Maj. Ben Follansbee spoke highly of his time in the service as the military paid tribute to his U.S. Army Special Forces group at Fort Bragg.  The O’Hara Township native who attended Shady Side Academy died in Afghanistan in December.

Staff Sergeant Eric Holman of Evans City received full military honors at his late August funeral.

The 39-year-old had one of the most dangerous jobs in Afghanistan defusing improvised explosive devices, one of which took his life.

For the families of these local men, this Memorial day brings sorrow but likely pride as well as their deaths define what the holiday is.

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