Youngsville, N.C. — A Franklin County soldier was killed in southern Iraq Friday morning when the vehicle he was driving hit an improvised explosive device, his family said Saturday.
They remember Lucas Elliott, 21, a military police specialist in the Army Reserve, as a man who was proud to serve his country and who never regretted joining the military.
"On 9/11, we were sitting there watching everything unfold and Lucas turned to us and said, 'I'm going to be a soldier,'" his mother, Patti Elliott, told WRAL News Saturday at the family's Youngsville home.
They are mourning, Patti Elliott said, but they lean on each other and try to find comfort in memories.
"Lucas is in a better place," Patti Elliott said.
She said her son loved to hunt and fish and that he dreamed of having a television show about these activities.
"All I can say is I'm going to miss my hunting and fishing buddy," Lucas Elliott's father, Ed, said.
Around 6 a.m. Saturday, two days before their son's 22nd birthday, the Elliotts awoke to a knock at the door.
"When you see those folks standing there at your door, you know," Patti Elliott said.
Military representatives were there to notify them that their son wasn't coming home. The Elliotts told Lucas' wife, Trisha, who recalled meeting her husband years earlier during a class they took together at Wake Technical Community College.
"I'm not sure how he did it, but he convinced me to marry him, and I don't regret it," Trisha Elliott said.
Lucas Elliott, who served in the 805th Military Police Company, a reserve unit based in Raleigh, will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.