*Army Spec. David Emanuel Hickman was the 4,474th member of U.S. military to die in Iraq, according to the Pentagon, He also may have been the last soldier to lose his life in the war, reports the Washington Post.
The 23-year-old African-American soldier was killed in Baghdad on Nov. 14 after a roadside bomb tore through his armored truck, the Post reports.
His friends and family celebrated his life at his funeral in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C., saying that he died doing what he loved: being a soldier. He was nearly a month away from returning home from his tour in Iraq when he was killed.
“We all loved David,” his cousin Charlz Henry said in an interview with WXII12 TV in Greensboro. “Our hearts are kind of heavy, but we’re at peace.”
The WXII12 broadcast described Hickman as a role model for his younger brother Devon.
“I was sad when he deployed and when he went into the Army because I knew maybe a day like this would come,” Devon said.
His cousin Fulton Williams added: “He died doing what he loved, pursuing life.”