21-year-old Alec Terwiske was on his first tour in Afghanistan. His family expected to see him in less than two months for the holidays, but unfortunately Alec never made it home.
"He was like a big giant teddy bear," said Alec's sister, Ashlee Gramelspacher.
Alec, a Northeast Dubois High School graduate, joined the Marines in 2010. His mother, Sandy, says it was always what he wanted. Even today, she says you could find toy soldiers and tanks under his bed.
His two sisters and brother knew it as well.
"He was always really proud, really proud to be a Marine. He always said he loved what he did," said Alec's siblings.
Even though Alec was the second youngest sibling and younger than his brother, Brant, he was always referred to as the younger older brother.
"He was my sidekick every time we'd go out, or 'Alec, can you help me with this?' Yes, he'd always be there helping me," Brant said.
His family says the thing they'll miss most is Alec's smile.
"He was a little jokester. He was always pulling tricks on the kids," said Alec's mother, Sandy Terwiske.
"He always picked on me. We were really close growing up," said Codi Terwiske, Alec's sister.
"When he came back from boot camp, Codi was kind of the person he would show us the moves he learned on, and Brant as well," Gramelspacher said.
"He was always the one to keep everybody laughing," Sandy said.
With more than half of his tour behind him, his siblings thought they had been through the worst of it and thought for sure, Alec would be home November first.
"He was very optimistic about coming home, very sure of himself very sure he was coming home," Gramelspacher said.
We will pass along those messages to the family and keep you updated on any funeral arrangements.
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