While family and friends escorted Cpl. Matthew Richard’s flag-draped casket into St. Joseph Catholic Church in Iota on Thursday, a group of women stood across the street, clutching flags in their hands to show support for Richard’s sacrifice.

The 21-year-old Marine was killed June 9 by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was serving his second tour of duty with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines.

Heather Smith was among the group of women gathered across from the church on St. Joseph Avenue.

‘There’s nothing that I can say or do to show my eternal gratitude,” Smith said. She said Richard always had a smile on his face and came from a ‘beautiful family.’