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Green Beret Keith Bishop lauded for service to country

Family members look on as Staff Sgt. Keith

Family members look on as Staff Sgt. Keith Bishop's coffin is carried out of the church after his funeral service in Patchogue. (Nov. 9, 2009) Credit: Ed Betz

At his funeral at a Patchogue church, Staff Sgt. Keith Bishop, an Army Green Beret from Medford killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, was lauded as a dedicated soldier, friend and husband.

"For me, it is a terrible thing," said Matt Catapano, a lifelong friend of Bishop's who grew up next door to him. "But Keith's life was not about terrible. It was about happiness."

Catapano was one of several people who spoke during the 50-minute ceremony at United Methodist Church, near Patchogue's main street.

After the ceremony, a soldier who had served in Afghanistan with Bishop said Bishop, 28, had looked forward to serving with the Army's special forces.

"He was very motivated and excited," said the soldier, Master Sgt. Tony Alfaro, of Oakland, Calif. "He was excited to make a difference."

>>PHOTOS: Funeral services for Staff Sgt. Keith Bishop in Patchogue

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