Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson of Waseca, Minn., was killed in an attack by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Friday, his father said Saturday night.
Erickson, 20, was a gunner riding in the last truck of a convoy when the suicide bomber attacked, his father, Barry Erickson, said in a telephone interview.
Barry Erickson was informed of his son’s death by three Marines who came to his home. His father said his son was airlifted to a medical facility where he died, but no one else in the convoy had life-threatening injuries.
Caleb Erickson graduated from Waseca High School in 2012. He was a starter on the football team in both his junior and senior years, and was also a wrestler, his father said.
“He had a mind-set to be a Marine since he was age 16,” his father said. “He liked the opportunity and the physical challenge. … He loved the idea of serving. My dad served in World War II.”
Caleb Erickson was deployed to Afghanistan in October, his father said.
He said that he and his son talked by telephone a week ago. “He sounded a little tired, but he said, ‘I’m doing what I want to be doing.’ ”
His son said he’d be back in the United States in May. “He said it would be nice to get back,” his father said.
Caleb Erickson is survived by his father, his mother, Karla Erickson, and a sister, Rue Erickson.
His father said that the outpouring of support and sympathy from the community has been overwhelming. “All of his buddies were at the house today. There’s been telephone calls, people have been bringing food, and there have been good words all over Facebook.”