"He went over, he did his job, he did it honorably and, he didn't come home the way we wanted him to," says Lisa Hawkins, a close family friend of the McGeath family.
Philip McGeath was just twenty-five years old when he was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan just two weeks before he was set to come home.
Hawkins says, "Philip loved being a Marine. He loved being a Marine."
McGeath died honorably doing the one thing he felt destined to do - fight for his country. The flag at his former high school flew half mast today in honor of the fallen soldier.
"Once you're a Cooper Cougar, you're always a Cooper Cougar so we definitely wanted to honor him," says Principal Karen Munoz.
Those who knew him well have only wonderful memories of the young hero.
Hawkins remembers, "He always smiled. That was the one thing. If you saw Philip, he was smiling."
"He was just so engaging. Such a great, great kid," says Jimmy Pogue, a former teacher.
Described as a role model, he went into the Marines and had two younger brothers who followed in his footsteps. He has five younger brothers in total.
Hawkins says, "As a mother, he's the kind of man you want your son to be. I mean, he just had it all."
"If we can lead everybody to have this life of service he had, what a better place this world would be," adds Pogue.
A mass for Philip McGeath will be held on Saturday, January 28 at 10 a.m. The service will take place at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Arlington.