The Hawaii Army National Guard suffered its first casualty in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Drew Scobie of Kailua died last week when his plane crashed on its way back from an nighttime surveillance mission. He was 25.
"He was a very loving person ... caring beyond his years," said his father Darryl Scobie, who lives in San Francisco.
"He had a way of reaching out ... and trying to help people."
Born and raised in Kailua, Scobie attended Kalaheo High School, where he was a standout football player.
He joined the Hawaii National Guard in 2009 but worked full time as a medical tech in the operating room at Straub Hospital.
In October, he was deployed in Afghanistan, where he served as a fire direction operator.
Just before he left the isles, his wife McKenna Panui-Scobie expressed some concerns about his mission in an article for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
His family issued this statement today:
"We continue to celebrate the life of Drew Scobie … Drew loved his family deeply, proudly and heroically carried the aloha spirit wherever he went to defend our country."
National Guard spokesman said the cause of the crash in under investigation but enemy fire is not suspected. Two others were killed in the plane crash.
Scobie is survived by his wife, who is pregnant, and their four-year-old son.
Friends have set up a fund in Scobie's memory at the Bank of Hawaii.