A Marine from Waseca, Minn., was killed in Afghanistan Friday, according to his sister, the Mankato Free Press reports.
Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson, 20, was in the last truck in a convoy that was attacked by a suicide bomber at about 4 p.m. local time, Rue Erickson told the newspaper Saturday.
He was airlifted to a medical facility, where he died. No one else in the convoy suffered life-threatening injuries, she said.
Erickson was a 2012 graduate of Waseca High School, where he was involved in football, wrestling and other activities, she said. He joined the Marines immediately after high school.
“He was known for always having a smile on his face and being happy,” his sister wrote in an email to the paper. “He always lightened everybody’s moods.”
A classmate of Erickson, Jared Krassin, told KEYC in Mankato, "He gave his whole heart to everything he did. He never backed down. Whatever he believed, that's what he did."
Krassin told the station he can hardly believe his locker buddy, football teammate and good friend won't be coming home.
"All through, we sat next to each other in home room, he'd be studying for the Marines. He wanted to be in the Marines so bad and he did it. I don't think he had any regrets at all," Krassin said.
Erickson began his tour of duty to Afghanistan last September and was about two months away from coming home, according to KEYC.