Fallen Dubois Co. Marine to receive special honor from NASCAR dr - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Fallen Dubois Co. Marine to receive special honor from NASCAR driver

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Eric Lueken was killed in action while in Iraq in 2006. Eric Lueken was killed in action while in Iraq in 2006.

A fallen Marine from Dubois County will receive a special honor from a NASCAR driver later this year. 

Eric Lueken was killed in action in 2006. He has been honored in many ways over the years, but now he's being recognized with his name being added to Kurt Busch's car this fall.

He graduated from northeast Dubois High School in 2001 and was a point guard on the basketball team.

"He was on a team that won sectional and regional. He hunted a lot, and he had a four-wheeler, and hung out with his friends and stuff. A typical boy around Dubois," said Jake Lueken, Eric's dad.

And as a typical boy from Dubois, Eric felt a sense of duty to his country.

"One morning, he came in our bedroom about 6:00 in the morning and he wanted our attention. He got it, said he was going to join the Marine Corps," Jake said. "I thought, 'Well, maybe this fall or some time in the future.' I said, 'When are you thinking about doing this?' and he said, 'I'm leaving in three weeks."

Eric ended up stationed in Hawaii and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005. Jake says a field radio operator was Jake's MOS.

After spending seven months there, Corporal Eric deployed to Iraq, where he died on April 22, just three weeks into his tour 

Since then, Eric's name has appeared on buildings, banners, and monuments. Now, thanks to Armed Forces Foundation's Race Dedication Program his name will appear on Kurt Busch's number 41 Stewart Haas car this September.

"September 15th up at Joliet, Ill. I'm going to be there. It's just real nice that Kurt Busch goes out of his way to do this," Jake said.

Eric was nominated for the Race Dedication Program by his cousin, John Marks, who lives in Owensboro.

Lueken's mother, Melinda, was short on words during an interview, but she referred to this honor, as she does to all of those honoring her son, as bittersweet.

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