Ever since he was a little boy, Kevin Mowl was interested in the military. As a hearing child of deaf parents, Mowl was the first soldier in his family.
"You know, something inside him was calling him, telling him that he needed to be in the Army. So it has always been a part of him," said his father Harold Mowl.
When Kevin reached Iraq he learned Arabic and considered a career in conflict resolution. His unit survived 36 IED attacks. The 37th put him into a coma, and on Feb. 25, 2008, he died.
"Kevin's striker drove over a storm drain that had been packed with explosives," he sister, Carlene Mowl said. "They estimate about a ton of explosives, I believe. Three men were killed on impact and many others were injured, including Kevin."
"The doctors thought that he had a pretty good chance because he was able to communicate with us through sign language ... I was prepared for rehab. I was prepared to be away from home for one or two years, to stay with him. But I wasn't prepared for the moment that he would die. I wasn't prepared at all," said his mother, Mary Mowl.
Mary said that when she thinks of Kevin, "the first thing I'll think of is when he smiles. I'll see his dimple and his bright blue eyes, a happy kid. That's the first thing I think when I think about him."
"Kevin was my best friend. He was a lot of fun. He would challenge me in many, many ways. Yeah, I miss him so much," Harold said. "I do have to say that we need to provide constant support to the soldiers who are there, to the soldiers who are serving our country all over the world. We can't forget that."