ELYRIA, Ohio A soldier due home next month on leave from Iraq was killed by an improvised explosive device, his father said.
U.S. Army Pfc. Jason Cox, 21, of Elyria, died Monday, his father, Gregory Cox, said.
Cox had been deployed in Iraq for a year and was scheduled to return to Ohio in mid-July. After his leave, he was to serve another eight months.
"We'll miss him," Gregory Cox said. "But we know he was saved. He was a Christian, so I have confidence he's with Jesus Christ in heaven."
Cox followed two older brothers into the military.
Matthew Cox is serving in Kuwait and has been given leave to return to Elyria for his brother's funeral. Ryan Cox, also spent a year in Iraq but was discharged and now lives in Wisconsin.
Jason Cox, a 2004 graduate of Lorain County Joint Vocational School, loved to work with his hands and had just finished rebuilding a Mitsubishi with his buddies before shipping out. That experience paid off in Iraq, where he helped fix Hummers and other heavy vehicles in his off-hours, his father said.
The Defense Department has not made a statement regarding Cox's death.