CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 24-year-old paratrooper who was a native of the Chicago area was killed in Afghanistan Monday in what appears to be an insider attack, according to Pentagon officials.
Michael Isaiah Nance, known as Isaiah, is being grieved by his family, but they also said they are proud of what he accomplished at such a young age.
"It's like the worst day in our family's history," said Kenon Forest, Isaiah's great uncle.
Isaiah was last in Chicago on June 1 to celebrate his birthday, his family said. Then he took a trip to Europe with his mother. He was deployed to Afghanistan on July 12. He was by all accounts a role model to his younger brother and cousins.
Isaiah grew up on Chicago's South Side and went to high school in the northern suburbs before he went to Army training. Serving his country was his dream, his family said.
Forest said he was sitting in his family's home on the South Side, gathered with them for another relative's funeral, when he noticed two Army soldiers outside the window.
"We were there laughing and joking and I looked outside and I saw these two Army people coming," he said.
Forest immediately thought of his great nephew.
"And they were coming up the door and I was like 'Oh my God,'" Forest said.
The soldiers then delivered the news that Isaiah had been killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan. An Afghan security source told ABC News that an Afghan army soldier opened fire inside a local military camp in the Kandahar province.
"Everyone in the house just... fell apart," Forest recalled.
Outside of the uniform his family said Isaiah was a good son, brother and cousin, and a bright spot in his family's life.
"Just knowing I'm not going to see and being able to enjoy that banter with him, going back and forth, it's difficult," said Trevor Harris, cousin.
"Always a jokester, always trying to make people laugh," said Forest. "Just a light-hearted loving kid, would do anything he could for you. We all would look forward to him coming home, just having big celebrations."
His mother is traveling to the East Coast to bring his remains home.
"He had so much life to live, I think that's the hardest part for me. It just doesn't seem fair," Harris said.
The one thing his mother wanted everyone to know was that as much as they are grieving his loss, the family takes solace knowing Isaiah died doing what he loved: serving and protecting his country.
Chicago-area soldier Michael Isaiah Nance killed in Afghanistan
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