TAMPA, Fla. - A Marine from Plant City had died during combat in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Ronald "Dougie" Freeman was killed by an improvised explosive device.
His family says the 25-year-old went to Plant City High School and describes him as being funny and always happy. They add that Freeman really wanted to be a Marine and worked hard for it.
Freeman joined the Marines in September 2008. Afghanistan was his first deployment. He'd only been there for about three weeks.
"He always wanted to be the best. He always strived to be the best. He was so good in life. He saw the Marines as being not just a job, but something to prove, make him prove that he is the best," said Ronald's father, Brian Freeman. "[I'm] very proud of him. He died a hero. He was a hero before he joined the Marines."
The day Freeman died, his daughter turned one and his son, who he had never held or seen, was only 10 days old. His wife and children live near Gainesville.
There are no details just yet on Lance Corporal Freeman's funeral arrangements.