Daniel Morgan said Army officials came to his home to tell him that his son, Pfc. David J. Badie, 23, of Rockford, Ill., had died Friday.
Badie was born in Arizona and moved to the Midwest in 2000, according to news reports.
He attended Milton High School from 2001 to 2003, according to Milton school officials. He later received his general equivalency diploma through Blackhawk Technical College.
Badie was home in June, on leave before his deployment, and asked his father in a conversation away from his siblings to tell his family how much he loved them if he were to be wounded or killed.
“He enjoyed what he was doing and was proud to be in the Army,” Morgan said. “At the same time, he knew the risks. He wanted to remind me how very much he cared for his brothers and sisters. He asked me to tell them that if the worst happened.”
The worst happened on Friday as his son’s unit was returning to its base after a mine detection mission, Morgan said. Army casualty affairs officers arranged for Morgan to speak with his son’s commanding officer, who told him that somehow the unit missed an improvised explosive device near its camp, Morgan said.
“He said it happened very quick and that my son didn’t suffer,” Morgan said. “He told me my son never knew what hit him.”
NATO officials said roadside bombs killed five NATO soldiers Friday in eastern Afghanistan. They did not release the nationalities of those soldiers but most troops in those eastern areas are American.
Badie was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Badie’s sister, Kassandra Badie, said her brother had changed his life around since enlisting two years ago.
Before joining the Army, Kassandra said her brother “sowed some wild oats.” When he visited in June, she noticed a change.
“My brother and I talked about everything,” she said. “He was really my best friend. He seemed more focused when he came home. He had goals. He wanted to go to college when he got out of the Army.”