GLENVILLE/RENSSELAER, NY (NEWS10) – Monday was the first of many farewell ceremonies for two fallen service members who died near the southern border last weekend. People from across the Capital Region paid their respects as the bodies of Casey Frankoski and John Grassia returned home for the final time.

A military plane flew in from the Lone Star State with two bodies. 28-year-old Casey Frankoski and 30-year-old John Grassia. Both were Chief Warrant Officer 2.

Both service members had received numerous military awards before their lives were lost March 8 in a helicopter crash near the Texas-Mexico border.

First, the Frankoski move. In Rennselear, a collection of American flags decorated the street along which the hearse carrying her body drove to the funeral home, and then Frankoski’s casket was ceremoniously brought inside.

Their service history goes back years. The Columbia High School graduate joined the National Guard in 2016. From 2018 to 2019 she was deployed in Kuwait. Now the Rensselaer resident will be remembered with her own hometown Heroes banner, appropriately placed on the Heroes Bridge.

At the same time the procession of John Grassia took place. Similarly, his hearse also arrived at the Glenville Funeral Home, also to a hero’s welcome. Numerous Stars and Stripes could be seen on the streets of Schenectady County, along with passersby carrying tribute posters.

The Niskayuna native’s obituary describes him as passionate. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. He then worked as a cybersecurity analyst for the New York State Department of Homeland Security. He became a New York State Trooper by 2022.

His official obituary ended on a very bittersweet note, noting that he was “reunited at the Rainbow Bridge with his loving dogs Abby and Myah.”

As the day ended, there was an unforgettable sight in the Schenectady County sky. The planes that took the fallen service members to their hometowns returned empty to Texas.

A funeral mass will be held for Casey Franskowski at 11 a.m. Friday at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph Church in Rensselaer. Burial will take place immediately following the Mass at Saratoga National Cemetery.

Officer Grassia’s funeral will be held next Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church. Grassia will be buried at Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.

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