Bridgeport family grieving loss of US airman in Idaho crash

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BRIDGEPORT -

A Bridgeport family is mourning the loss of a U.S. airman who was killed in a seven-vehicle crash earlier this month in Boise, Idaho.

Lawrence Manlipit, 26, was born in Georgia, but lived in Bridgeport until he was 13 – attending Curiale School and others, and worked Vazzy’s Italian Restaurant and Rainbow Gardens.

Manlapit's mother Dorine Norko broke down while talking about her son's proud record of service as an avionics technician in the 391st Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Air Force.

“His giving spirit, his service for others, I mean, he's such a good person, he loved everybody," she said.

John Norko, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, says his grandson was respected in the Air Force for his abilities. 

"He was the go-to guy when they had problems with the F-15 aircraft that they worked on," said Norko.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal stopped by the family's house to console them.

"On this Fourth of July, I will keep in my prayers Larry's memory because his dedication to our country is what makes our freedoms possible,” said the senator.

The airman's wake will be at Abriola Funeral Home in Trumbull from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Monday.

Three others also lost their lives in the crash near Mountain Home Air Force Base on June 16.

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