TRACY -- "There he goes. We love you Lenin."
Stars and stripes surrounded his hearse as it traveled home to Tracy. People lined overpasses above 580 along much of the 63 mile motorcade route from San Francisco International Airport. It was an impressive salute for a fallen Marine Lance Corporal Lenin Priego Zurita.
"I had no idea they were able to pull together the force as strong as they did," said Ron Green, Zurita's stepfather.
Georgina and Ron Green's son was a force all to himself -- always determined and humble. He left Mexico for the United States as a boy and he became a citizen in the military as a young man.
"To think that I'm bringing a 9-year-old kid from Southern Mexico up here, within 3 months he's learning English. To becoming a Marine, to getting his citizenship, to getting stationed at the Pentagon, shaking hands with the president of the United States. That's our Lenin. That's our boy," Ron Green said.
Zurita didn't die in combat. He was found unconscious in his barracks. His friends say he recently started having seizures. His parents are awaiting the results of an autopsy.
Lenin's stepfather says even though he helped raise him from the time he was little, he felt like he met him for the first time today, after seeing how many people came out to honor and share stories about his son.
"There's not one specific thing that I am going to remember because he's always going to be here in every single memory. I'm going to keep him in my heart," said Lenin's good friend Nahum Diaz.
"It didn't matter how he died -- on the battlefield or in the States. He served during a time of conflict. He's a hero," said Army veteran Jason Fell.
Zurita recently earned Marine of the quarter. His mother just found out he was also being considered as Marine of the Year. She says he poured his heart into everything. She believes the outpouring of support on Thursday is that love coming full circle for her son.
Funeral information is below: