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Fall River Mourns Marine Who Drowned

Flags are flying at half staff in Fall River as residents and family members prepare their final goodbyes to a fallen Marine.

Cpl. Paul Fagundes, a 29-year-old Fall River native, died over the Fourth of July weekend while trying to save two fellow Marines who were caught in an undertow while swimming near their base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Fagundes is the third soldier from Fall River to die while on active duty in recent months, after the deaths of Army National Guard Sgt. Robert Barrett and Army Spc. Scott Andrews.

"This is a reality check for all of us," Fall River veterans agent Manuel Daponte said.  "It can happen to anyone, any town, any city, any time.  It happened to us three times in the last two and a half months."

As the city struggles to come to grips with the recent deaths, the funeral for Fagundes is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.

"Three fallen heroes in the last two and a half  months, and it's, you know, why us?," Daponte said.  "Who can answer that, I don't know. Except that we're handling it as a fallen hero, and that we're going to do the best we can for the family."

Fagundes leaves a 2-year-old son, and his wife is expecting another child.

This program aired on July 12, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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