Bidding farewell to a young Valley Marine veteran

FRESNO, Calif.

Gilliam passed after spending the last three years fighting through adversity -- he was seriously injured on Jan. 5th, 2011 while serving in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Gilliam stepped on an IED.

He lost both of his legs at the knees as a result of the explosion. He also had a fractured right arm and injuries to his ribs.

"I just remember him being a trooper," Cpl. Johnny Gutierrez said, he was with Gilliam when he was injured. "He really fought hard. The injuries he sustained were really severe, and the fact he made it, just shows what kind of person he was."

Gilliam received a purple heart while he was in the hospital. He had been undergoing treatments in Texas. Despite the seriousness of Gilliam's injuries, family members hoped he would be okay.

"They seemed very optimistic," Gutierrez said. "He was doing well from what I've heard."

Gilliam passed on January 9th, 2014. His body returned to Fresno on January 17th, 2014.

Rabbi Rick Winer says family members didn't' want to share details of his passing only that Gilliam's injuries proved too much for him.

"This was a huge battle and some wounds cannot be overcome," Winer said.

Gilliam started as a rifleman in the Marines before completing Scout Sniper School. Family members say he dreamed of joining the Marines ever since High School

"He had some wonderful sparks, and a great inquisitiveness, but a quiet calm, and his name, Farrell means Valor, so he really was a man of valor," Winer said.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.