HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) - A U.S. Marine from Hutto, Texas has died in combat in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Department of Defense announced Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen, 21, died Dec. 28, after an IED attack while conducting combat operations in Helmand province.
Nguyen leaves behind his parents, a sister, a wife and an infant boy. He just got to spend 9 days with Tevan Junior.
"I'm very proud of him because all his life he always did the right thing," said his father, Tam Nguyen, while fighting back tears.
Nguyen's friends said he had long planned to be a Marine.
"It still makes me proud of him. He did it for the cause he wanted to," said William Watts. "Tevan was always like a little brother that always wanted to help everyone. He'll put anyone in front of him and not worry about himself."
Nguyen ran track and played football for Hutto. He played in the 2005 state championship game. His friends and family remember someone who excelled at whatever he tried, and who always had a great sense of humor.
"I wish I enjoyed my kid a little longer, but now I can't. Now he's gone. But at least he's gone for a purpose," said Tam Nguyen.
Nguyen was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. The group is supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Because he was based out of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement Wednesday.
"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the death of Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen of Hutto, TX:
"Corporal Tevan Nguyen was a brave Marine who gave his life in service to our country. Maria and I were deeply saddened to learn of his death and we will forever be grateful for his sacrifice. On behalf of all Californians, we extend our sympathies to Tevan's friends and family during this difficult time."
Nguyen, 21, died December 28 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In honor of Cpl. Nguyen, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff."
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