BELMONT (CBS) — John Curtis stood his guard. His parents describe him as a soldier in the purest sense.
“He found the Army, the Army didn’t find him. I think his passing will change a lot of lives. And I hope we take it as an example we should all strive for,“ John’s father Phil Curtis said.
On Monday, Curtis, along with a fellow soldier Andrew Meari, of Illinois, was on guard duty in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device.
Curtis and Meari were killed.
Ever since he was little boy growing up in Belmont Curtis wanted to serve his country.
Little did he know he would pay the ultimate price, but because of what he did seven of his comrades are alive today.
“John and Andy intercepted the suicide bomber and did not allow him to enter the base where far more people would’ve died,” Phil Curtis said.
Curtis was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Keystone National High School. Immediately after graduation he joined the Army.
“He sometimes talked a good game but his personality was not Rambo. He was very sweet and innocent in some ways,” his mother Pam Curtis said.
In 2009, Curtis and his sweetheart Samantha wed and gave birth to their first born child Tessa-Marie.
“John was a humble guy, but he had a very strong sense of mission and purpose. He was someone loyal to the mission and he did it well. I just going to miss him,” Phil Curtis said.