Marine Lance Corporal Kenny Corzine.
By Courtney Gousman
Bethalto, IL (KSDK) -- A devastating Christmas for a Bethalto family. The family of Lance Corporal Kenny Corzine is dealing with his death, after his passing on Christmas Eve. The Marine was serving in Afghanistan when he was hit by an explosive device.
NewsChannel 5 first told you the story of Lance Corporal Kenny Corzine earlier in December. His family had high hopes during his recovery, and despite losing both legs, the Marine was in good spirits--even talking--before taking a turn for the worst.
Black ribbons mark a southern Illinois home to match the grief the family inside is feeling. The Corzine's family is now discussing about how his legacy will live on.
"I hung out with my brother in Japan. Not a lot of people can say that, but we were really close," said Lance Corporal Nicholas Corzine, Kenny's younger brother.
Nicholas Corzine went off to boot camp just months after his older brother, more than three years ago.
Nicholas tells NewsChannel 5 his brother was injured in Afghanistan on December 5 while on foot patrol.
Kenny Corzine and his nine-man unit were confronted by enemy fire and then an IED.
Four Marines were killed in action. Kenny was one of several who survived, but sustained serious injuries.
"His legs were gone," said Nicholas Corzine.
Kenny managed to make it to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where things were looking up.
"He was just like he always is. He was joking. He was really upbeat about it," Nicholas said.
Nicholas says Kenny was anxious to come home until he ran into complications with his lungs and liver. Nicholas says his brother's passing came as a surprise.
"I honestly thought he was going to make it. I kept telling the family, 'Oh, he's going to make it. He's going to make it,'" Nicholas said.
Nicholas says he initially opened an account to accept donations to help out his brother once he made it home. Now the money will be used to aid other wounded warriors, by donating to the Semper Fi Fund.
"We're going to take any money that anybody would like to wish, to donate to Kenny or his donation fund and give to that organization to help out future families because they come in four or five a day. It's ridiculous. People don't see that," said Nicholas.
If you'd like to donate to the fund, you can visit any U.S. Bank and tell them you'd like to contribute to the Kenny Corzine Fund. Relatives say all other collections being taken are not authorized.
Lance Corporal Kenny Corzine was awarded a Purple Heart before his death. His body is not expected to arrive in Bethalto until January 4.