Army Cpl. Michael K. Ingram Jr., 23, of Newport was killed Saturday while serving in Afghanistan.
His father, Michael Ingram Sr. of Newport, did not know the details of his son's death. Regardless, he said he would rather focus on his life.
"He was known for his smile. He was never negative. He was always happy," he said this morning. "He was looking forward to coming home and seeing his family and friends and a (Detroit) Tigers game."
Funeral services are pending at Merkle Funeral Services. He will be buried at St. Joseph Cemetery.
Better known to his family and friends as Mikey, Cpl. Ingram had been serving in Afghanistan for the past year. He was the leader over a small group of soldiers.
"He was injured a few weeks ago that would have required surgery when he came home. He didn't want to come home early because he didn't want to leave his guys over there," his father said.
He was able to return home for a couple of weeks at Christmas, and Mr. Ingram last spoke with his son about a month ago.
"He said things were really starting to heat up over there, and that they still had a lot to do before they were able to leave. He said it was going to get dangerous," he recalled.
A 2005 Monroe High School graduate, Army Cpl. Ingram planned on a career in law enforcement after his time in the service. He was scheduled to return home June 5.
"Ever since he was a little kid, he wanted to join the Army," Mr. Ingram said. "But he was ready to come home because he wanted to be back with his family and friends. That's all he talked about. His last Facebook post said something like 'Let's go boys…just a few more weeks.'"
The actual message on Facebook, posted by Cpl. Ingram on April 13, reads "Come on fellas hold it together...almost home."
Another post on his Facebook page reads, "I love my family..my lil bro, lil sis...can't wait till I'm out of the Army."
He completed basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.
In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Patricia Kitts of Colorado; two brothers, Kyle of Newport and Jason of Colorado; a sister, Chelsea Ingram of Colorado, and a stepmother, Julie Ingram.
His aunt, Pam Ingram of Monroe, said Cpl. Ingram is a hero.
"He has been commended for his bravery and leadership while he's been in Afghanistan," she said this morning. "He was loved by everyone. He was a sweet, kind and caring kid that everyone liked."
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