It was a brotherhood he will always cherish.
This was evident when Private First Class Fritz Gerald Carido gave a final embrace and the snappiest salute to fallen comrade, PFC Eddie Cardona Jr. who was killed by Maute rebels in Marawi City.
In a heartbreaking moment, Carido, who was recuperating from battle wounds, let go of his crutches to rightfully honor his constant companion Cardona.
The two were together during the firefight that killed Cardona.
Carido was wheeled in Tuesday morning to the Acero Hall at the Marine Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, where families and friends mourned the death of the courageous Marines killed in the June 9 operation.
Emotions were high at the final funeral Mass.
Earlier Tuesday, caskets of five of the Marines (Cpl. John Romulo Garcia, Staff Sergeant Joven Triston, Sgt. Simon Plares, Cpl. Rolan Sumagpang and Pvt. Bernie Jhon Lunas) were transferred from Acero Hall to a funeral service in Quezon City where they would be prepared for air transport back to their provinces.
As of Saturday, the number of security forces killed in the battle for Marawi stood at 58. The death toll for civilians was 20 and more than 100 had been killed overall.
The seizure of Marawi by fighters allied to Islamic State, including some from the Middle East, has alarmed Southeast Asian nations which fear the ultra-radical group - on a backfoot in Iraq and Syria - is trying to set up a stronghold on Mindanao that could threaten their region.
As for wounded soldier Carido, he will have to continue recuperating at the Manila Naval Hospital.
Cardona's remains will meanwhile be transported to Baguio City for another wake. He will then be buried in his hometown of Barlig, Mountain Province.