TICKFAW, La. — The Tickfaw native killed in Afghanistan on Sunday died after the vehicle he was in was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.
Louisiana Army National Guard Spc. Chris Drake was being flown back from Afghanistan on Tuesday to Delaware, where his family was heading to receive his body. The family said Tuesday it was notified Sunday night that Drake, who turned 20 in January, had been killed earlier in the day.
According to a Department of Defense statement, Drake was killed in Bagram when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Drake was assigned to the 1084th Transportation Company, 165th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion based out of Reserve. He was deployed a month and a half ago for nine months and his job was a gunner on a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.
Drake’s fiancée Britny McAdams said the Independence High School graduate joined the Army because he planned on going to college, and the armed forces provided a way for him to pay for school. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to study, she said.
The two met through Drake’s younger sister and were engaged shortly before he deployed, McAdams said.
Friends and family say the loss is deep.
"He would always try to better hisself, as a person, as a student as an athlete," said Keith Corona, Drake's football coach. "Everything he did was to be better, and it's sad. I got sad news Sunday night."
According to the Associated Press, 2,092 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan since the conflict began.