ADRIAN, Ga. - Friends and family of the soldier killed last week in Iraq say the young man loved being in the military.
Pfc. William R. Strange, 19, of Adrian, died Friday when an improvised explosive device detonated in Baghdad where he was setting up an observation point.
"You could have given him a million dollars and I don't think that would have made him as happy as being in the military," his sister, Tawanna Davis, said Monday.
For Pfc. Strange, being in the military was the first step to success. His girlfriend, Teri Peebles, said he had a plan to serve in the military, then go to college and eventually marry her.
The Swainsboro High School graduate wanted to join the military because he wanted to make something of his life, Adrian Police Chief Daniel McCoy said.
"He told me, 'I was going down the wrong road; I'm going into the service,' " Chief McCoy said.
Pfc. Strange was an outgoing person who loved people and looked out for his family.
"He would do crazy stuff just to make us laugh," Ms. Davis said. "He would make funny faces. He didn't like seeing people sad."
Ms. Davis said she believes her brother is "with God."
"The Bible says the greatest thing you can do is lay down your life for somebody," she said. "He gave his life for us."
Arrangements are being handled by Mosleys Funeral Home in Swainsboro.
Services have not been announced yet, funeral home officials said Tuesday.