A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire of Easley, SC, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (Dec. 29, 2011/Department of Defense)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
An Upstate soldier was killed this week after only being in Afghanistan for 19 days.
Twenty-year-old Pfc. Justin Whitmire's family spoke with FOX Carolina on Dec. 28 about their son, who was from Pickens. They said he was a medic with the U.S. Army and wanted to become a doctor.
"He always wanted to make something of his self. That was one thing that he said... 'I want to be somebody.' He said, 'I want to take care of my mom,'" said Donnie Whitmire, Justin's father.
Family members said Justin Whitmire had been in the Army for about a year before he was killed by a roadside bomb in Paktia, Afghanistan. They said he had wanted to be in the Army since he was a young boy.
Justin Whitmire graduated from Hillcrest High School last year where he was on the debate team. Family members say he had offers to go to Harvard University but decided to join the military instead.
The Department of Defense said Whitmire along with Sgt. Noah Korte, 29, of Lake Elsinore, CA, and Spc. Kurt Kern, 24, of McAllen, TX, died from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
They were assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade in Fort Hood, TX.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Whitmire. There will be a visitation on Friday from 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Faith Renewed Outreach Center in Mauldin.
Whitmire's funeral is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Simpsonville First Baptist Church. He will be buried with full military honors at Cannon Memorial Park.
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