The cornfields of Silvana, Wash., had little to offer an ebullient 17-year-old like Justin W. Hebert, who had never even been on a plane before.
He wanted to go to college, but his family didn''t have the money, and he worried his grades would suffer if he tried to work his way through. So five days after graduating from high school, he shipped out with the Army.
Hebert''s parents signed the paperwork for him to enlist _ he was too young to do it himself.
On Aug. 1, four days after his 20th birthday, Spc. Hebert was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle during a night patrol near Kirkuk, Iraq.
Hebert was stationed at Camp Ederle in Italy and met his girlfriend there, but the military was never his dream, said his 21-year-old sister, Jessica.
"He wanted to get out of this area and make something of himself. He was in Iraq just so he could get out and have an education," she said.