CHICAGO (CBS) — A funeral service was held Wednesday for a U.S. Marine from Chicago who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.

It was a solemn sendoff for 23-year-old Lance Cpl. John T. Sparks at Roberts Temple on Chicago’s South Side.

Sparks was killed on Oct. 8 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Fellow marines formed an honor guard and escorted his casket from the church after the ceremony.

He had been with the Marine Corps for about two years, but his dream was to become a Chicago police officer.

“He was a young man with great integrity, great character, very honorable, very distinguished,” his cousin ChaJuana Calhoun-Hannah said.

Members of the Illinois Patriot Guard also paid tribute to Sparks with a motorcycle escort to the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

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