BURLESON -- Dozens of Marines joined other mourners Friday to remember 21-year-old Lance Corporal Mark Boterf.

Contemporary Christian music played as photos flashed on screens, showing a little boy growing up. The future Marine started life as a three-pound preemie.Just one more challenge to overcome on the way to becoming Lance Corporal Mark Boterf.

His twin brother Mike is also a Marine Lance Corporal.

I think it was the hardest time of my life when his roommate came up to me and said, you know, Mark idolized you, said Mike Boterf. I thought to myself - that's funny. Because I was always looking up to him. It's just tough.

About 30 Marines helped shoulder the burden. They stood straight-backed against the wall.

Mark was one of 10 kids in the deeply religious Boterf family who moved to Texas from Mississippi.

Mark's sister Roseanna struggled to speak in the service at Alsbury Baptist Church in Burleson. How do you say goodbye? How do you let go of something so precious?

Officials at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina believe Mark was killed by another Marine who accidentally fired his rifle. Mark was on guard duty, part of a long-term assignment he took on to help a friend.

Mark liked to bear the pain of others, said his mother, Amy Boterf. He stood beside them.

Boterf spoke with strength from her faith.

Mark is gone whether I trust in God or not. Either we walk alone with our pain with no hope and no light, or we walk in joy.

She paused and sighed, then finished her thought. Until we meet again my son...


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