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Marco Island City Council recognized  retired firefighter-EMT Ray Ladurini for his 23 years of service to the city during its Monday meeting.

"It's a bitter sorrow to have been here for this long and see Marco grow from the beginning," said Ladurini. "It's just been a great time."

"I'm going to miss it, I really am."

Ladurini was involved in an off duty accident, ending up severely injured and unable to come back to work, according to Fire-Rescue chief Michael D. Murphy.

"He is the one individual who would always give you the shirt off his back," said Murphy. "He is truly going to be missed."

City Council also recognized Ladurini for his 28 years of military service, having served  in operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S. Air Force reservist. 

"He is a true patriot," Murphy said.

In case you missed it: Dozens of fish, sea turtle found dead on Marco Island as red tide threat grows

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