HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Flags flew at half-staff ahead of Saturday night's memorial service for a fallen Kailua airman. A huge crowd showed up at Central Union Church for an emotional tribute honoring Capt. Reid Nishizuka. The 30-year-old was the pilot of an Air Force MC-12 Liberty aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan two weeks ago. Three other airmen were also killed. Nishizuka's casket arrived in Hawaii on Thursday. Those close to him shared their memories at the funeral about the man they will dearly miss.
"He inspired people. He inspired me. Impeccable leader. Truth, conviction, passion, heart says it all," said Nishizuka's long-time friend Butch Galdeira.
"The war, even to somebody in the military, sometimes seems so far away until it really hits close to home and somebody you know and a good friend," said Kim Gushiken, a fellow Kailua High Air JROTC member.
Military members from Beale Air Force Base in California where Nishizuka was stationed flew to Hawaii for the funeral. He'll be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Monday.