Lieutenant Colonel David E. Cabrera died when a suicide bomber rammed the bus he was on in Kabul.
His ex-wife, a teacher at Thomas Elementary School, and two children still reside in Abilene.
Corbin Cabrera described his father as an outgoing, loving man whose passion was serving his country.
"He was an amazing person," he said.
Some of his fondest memories were from trips they'd taken all over the world.
"Last summer we went to Disney World. The summer before that we were in Europe," he said.
The two had plans to see more places after Corbin graduated from high school.
"We were going to go to Africa to go shark diving," Corbin recalled.
Col. Cabrera had only been in Afghanistan for about a month when he was killed.
"It was very hard to believe. This whole experience has been very surreal," said Angela Cabrera, his ex-wife.
Cabrera was at home in Abilene when she got the phone call her ex-husband had been killed in action.
"At times I still don't believe it. Every time I have to talk about it, it gets harder," she said.
Cabrera had been in the service since 1996. In addition to his two children in Abilene, he also has a kindergartner and first-grader from his second marriage.
Funeral services will be held later this week in the Houston area.