This Memorial Day, people are honoring a young Gwinnett County soldier for his service and sacrifice. Army Spc. Etienne 'EJ' Murphy, 22, was killed in a crash in northern Syria late last week. Murphy's father told Channel 2's Nicole Carr he can't think of a reason why his son was the only one killed in the rollover crash last week, but he's sure of one thing: The dreams his son had when he walked into this recruiting center were fulfilled. 'Specialist Murphy, age 22, was serving in the Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign in Syria at the time of his death,' Gwinnett County administrator Glenn Stephens told Carr while standing next to the county's veteran's memorial. 'I imagine we'll be adding another name to these walls here behind me this time next year.' His fellow classmates also shared memories of walking past him in the hallways of South Gwinnett High School -- still fresh in their minds. TRENDING STORIES: $5K worth of controversial herb with opiate-like effects stolen 5-year-old girl shot playing in bounce house now paralyzed Georgians come together to honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day 'Any time I'd see him at school, he always had a smile. He would walk up to people that didn't have a smile. They would start smiling,' classmate Austin Cooper told Carr. Prayers are with two little ones and his high school sweetheart wife that Murphy leaves behind. 'I can't imagine the pain they're going through, and I know it's very fresh to them,' Gwinnett County Commissioner Jace Brooks said. 'He did this just because he loved it.'Father of S. Gwinnett HS soldier killed in Syria. Community tribute to Spc. EJ Murphy @wsbtv 5 #RIP pic.twitter.com/uQ4dIycv86-- Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) May 29, 2017 The loss was felt throughout Gwinnett County as people remembered Murphy during Memorial Day events. The Boston native finished out high school at South Gwinnett. His family is making arrangements to transfer him back home. His father, Calvin Murphy, a former Boston firefighter, told Carr that the soldier was always in son. 'Me being a firefighter, and him being a soldier, it's like it has to be in your blood. It's not something that you just sign up to do because you're looking for money, or something like that. He did this just because he loved it,' Murphy said So when Specialist Murphy walked through the doors of this Lawrenceville recruiting center in 2013, he knew what he wanted. He knew he'd be a ranger. 'At least he died living his dream,' Cooper said. Murphy's Junior ROTC instructor is still at South Gwinnett. Late Sunday night, he posted a Facebook tribute praising Murphy's competitiveness, confidence and sacrifice.