A Flint soldier was killed in Afghanistan, leaving behind his wife and his three-year-old son.
25-year-old Sgt. 1st class Joseph Lilly was killed overseas last week.
He was part of the 18th engineer company from joint base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
The Pentagon says Lilly and another soldier were injured last Tuesday during an insurgent attack. He then died two days later during a medical flight to germany.
Lilly graduated from Carman Ainsworth High School in Flint Township.
"Shock, we've all been in shock it just doesn't seem real," said Lilly's aunt, Martha Hicks-Alexander, who is still struggling to comprehend the loss.
It was just three weeks ago she'd spoken with him over skype.
"He sent me flowers and told me what a find job i did raising him and he loved me very much," said Hicks-Alexander.
That bond formed while Joesph Lilly was growing up in Flint at Carmen Ainsworth High School. After graduation, he joined the army got married and refered to his son as his "best gift".
Now three years old, little Alex llooks like his dad did at that same age and the family is determined to make sure he knows his father died a hero.
"He gave his life for his country, that's the ultimate sacrifice to give your life for your county," said Hicks Alexander.
Sgt. Lilly's wife and son are in the state of Washington, where he was based.
His aunt says his body was flown to Delaware and she expects he will be brought back to Flint in another week.
Check back with us next week for updates on funeral arrangements.