MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was a heartfelt, patriotic tribute for the life, service and sacrifice of a young Marine Friday morning.

Marine Lance Cpl. Robert S. Greniger, of Greenfield, died July 12 in Afghanistan during combat operations. He was 21 years old.

On Friday, parents, children, neighbors and friends stood side by side, waving American flags as the family of Greniger passed by.

“I’m honored to be a part of such a great community where everybody can gather like this and honor such a courageous man,” said Megan Smerud. “He was my senior prom date. He was a great friend.”

He was not only a friend, but also a son and the oldest of four.

His younger brother Henry wanted to dress like his big brother. Greniger’s aunt shared the Facebook message she sent him on the Fourth of July: “American soldiers don’t fight because they hate what’s in front of them. They fight because they love what’s behind them. Be well, stay safe and come home.”

Those who know him say Greniger went into the military searching for his life’s purpose. Now, the young man is remembered for his commitment to our country.

“I love you as a brother Robert. Semper fi. Rest well,” said Major Paul Hoiland. “He fought for our country and died. You’ve got to honor him. If you knew him or not … and even if you didn’t, honor him because you honor all of our soldiers.”

Greniger was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Comments (5)
  1. Kappie Wright says:

    Thank you

  2. DARREN says:

    R.I.P Soldier. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. God Bless You!

  3. Megan Smerud. says:

    Thank you Holly for your support.

  4. Kristin says:

    Oh no!! They write “hate what’s behind them” instead of ” LOVE WHAT’S BEHIND THEM”! Someone please fix this, as it was an originally beautiful quote

  5. Laurel says:

    YES! PLEASE fix the misprint! “They fight because they LOVE what’s behind them! ~How could you make such a mistake!!!~

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