The war in Afghanistan hits close to home the Department of Defense has now confirmed, a Marine from New Prague has been killed in Afghanistan.
Family members say Lance Cpl. Dale Means died when his convoy hit an improvised explosive device, or IED, on Sunday in southern Helmand province. Tuesday News 12 talked with one of Means' high school teachers who says he is proud of his former students' sacrifice.
New Prague teacher Don Plaisance says, "What they do and how they serve the country is a great thing. I'm proud of him for that."
Plaisance taught Lance Cpl. Dale Means in his woodworking/drafting class long before he put on his marine uniform.
Plaisance says, "He was outgoing. He was a little shy at first when he was younger and as he got older he was outgoing. He usually had a smile on his face."
Just two days after Means' death, for those passing through New Prague, things didn't seem very different. But for those that new Means, now when they see a flag or a yellow ribbon, their brother, friend, classmate, or student will be on their minds.
Plaisance says, "I could see him sitting in class, I could see the smile on his face, and I could see having fun with his friends."
Means graduated from News Prague in 2007. He was on his first tour of duty after being deployed in July. Plaisance says saw Means and his wife Andrea's wedding announcement in the newspaper just over a year ago...he was happy then to see his former student growing up, so he says it is hard to now know that life has been cut short.
Plaisance says, "It is tough to see someone that young, promising life in front of them get taken away, that's hard."
Means and his wife, also a 2007 new Prague graduate, were married in October of last year and were living off–base at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Funeral Arraignments are pending.