EAST NEW YORK - Mourners said tearful goodbyes Saturday in East New York to an Army sergeant from Canarsie who was killed in Iraq.

Mario Nelson, 26, leaves behind a grieving wife, 3-year-old daughter and others who remember him fondly. Widow Mecca Nelson describes the soldier as her soul mate, while others remember him as the go-to guy for sound advice. Friends say Nelson was always willing to help, which he showed by volunteering at Ground Zero after September 11th. His family says Nelson developed a strong sense of duty and love for America after emigrating from Haiti as a child.

Military representatives posthumously awarded Nelson a Purple Heart at his funeral at the Christian Cultural Center. Nelson was killed earlier this month in a rocket attack.

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