A soldier with ties to North Carolina died in Iraq on Sunday, the Department of Defense announced Monday.
Pfc. Cody C. Grater, 20, of Spring Hill, Fla., died in Baghdad of wounds suffered when his guard position was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade near Iraq's capital.
He was assigned to the 407th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
"Our son died doing what he was proud of," his mother and stepfather said in a statement released by the 82nd Airborne. "It was his goal to make the Army his career, which he loved. He was proud of serving his country."
Grater joined the Army in April 2006. He completed Motor Transport Operator Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in June of that year before reporting to the 82nd in August.
"He was eager to learn and excelled at all aspects of his chosen profession," Lt. Jason Gardel, rear detachment commander of 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, said in a statement. "Pfc. Grater always went the extra mile to help out his comrades."
Grater's many awards and decorations include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
His unit will hold a memorial service in Iraq on Friday.