Lee E. Wilson said his son, Lee C. Wilson, looked forward to a two-week beach trip when he returned to the United States after more than a year in Iraq.
Christian, as the family called the younger Wilson, won't get to take that trip.
The 30-year-old Army sergeant died Thursday when a bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Mosul. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat team, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Bliss, Texas.
"We always talked about what he was going to do when he got out," the elder Wilson said late Saturday night. "He didn't want to be there."
The elder Wilson said his son, who attended Chapel Hill High School, spent a few years doing security before joining the Army.
"He always liked to be outside," Wilson said. "He'd been thinking about the Army."
Christian Wilson enlisted Jan. 3, 2001. Before his current assignment, he had been assigned to Army units in Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Polk, La.; and Fort Knox, Ky. He was assigned to his last unit as a cavalry scout.
He was in the middle of his fourth deployment, which started in October, his father said. He was supposed to return to the U.S. in December.
Lee Wilson said Christian was mostly a loner who relished outdoor activities. And he loved cold weather.
"He used to take our dog and go cross-country skiing," Lee Wilson said.
Christian Wilson's awards include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army service ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Besides his father, he is survived by his mother, Penny Wilson, and his sister, Leia Wilson, all of Chapel Hill.
(News researcher Lamara Williams-Hackett contributed to this report.)