Staff Sergeant Christopher Slutman, 43, was killed April 8 in a roadside bomb attack near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
His body was transported Monday from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to a funeral home in New York City, and the route along the New Jersey Turnpike and over the George Washington Bridge was lined with emergency responders.
"It's very humbling, very respectful, coming all the way up from Dover and seeing firemen on every single overpass," said Robert Eustace, with the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "Seeing a hand salute from civilians pulling over to the side of the road, it's a real slice of Americana. It reminds you that people still remember what's on."
Funeral services are set for Friday.
For 15 years, Slutman -- a husband and a father who leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters -- was part of Ladder 27 Engine 46 in the Bronx. He is also a lifetime member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Landover, Maryland.
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"Firefighter Slutman bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a written statement.
In 2014, he received the FDNY's Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal, an honor that Mayor Bill de Blasio recalled presenting to Slutman.
"I had the honor of presenting him in 2014 with the Fire Chiefs Association Memorial medal, and it was presented because he had rescued an unconscious woman from a burning apartment in the South Bronx," de Blasio said. "This unquestionably is an example of a measure of this man. Christopher Slutman, an American hero, and New York hero, and we mourn his loss today.
Slutman was the fourth FDNY member to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003, the city said.
"On behalf of the 20,000 active duty and retired members of the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association, we offer our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Firefighter Christopher Slutman after he was tragically killed in Afghanistan," FDNY-UFA Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald said. "A 15-year member of the department, Christopher was a distinguished firefighter who had a profound impact on both of his firehouses, Ladder Companies 27 and 17. Together, all firefighters grieve the loss of our brother, Christopher, who dedicated his life to protecting the people of this city, and our nation."
Lt. Gregory Macagnone used to be Slutman's lieutenant.
"He was an all in kind of guy," he said. "He was all about this job. He was a great fireman, and he was a great Marine. And he sacrificed everything for it."
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