An Egg Harbor Township man who died during active service in the Army National Guard was buried Thursday afternoon.

John H. Humphreys Jr., 56, who died Saturday, was a command sergeant major with 40 years of service, according to his obituary.

The crowd that gathered at the gravesite in the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery included more than 100 members of the National Guard.

“When you lose someone current, you see the turnout,” said Sgt. Kerry Evans, the military funeral honors program manager. “He was a great soldier.”

Evans said they were soldiers from Humphrey’s unit, the 117th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, who served under him, as well as colleagues.

Humphreys served several tours of active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, according to his obituary.

He was the commander of VFW District 16 as well as a past commander of Cardiff Memorial Post 8098 and a past president of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey.

A bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” as mourners formed a semicircle around the gravesite, where the surviving family members sat under a canopy clutching a single white rose each.

Humphreys was given full military honors, including a three-volley salute, in which three shots were fired into the air.

“He was a great leader who always made time to really get to know his soldiers,” Evans said. “It’s a testament to his honorable and faithful service.”

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