LEXINGTON, Va.- – David Miller was filled with emotions Thursday when talking about Andrew Ross or Drew as he calls him.
"His parents are friends of ours. So we've known him his whole life. Did a lot of neat things together. Our kids are inseparable and always have been," said Miller.
Ross and two other men were killed when their vehicle was hit by an IED during combat in Afghanistan. Miller said Drew will never be forgotten.
"His leadership ability, his heart, his love for family and friends. He's been this way his whole life. Just a loyal, loving young man," said Miller.
Ross is the second Lexington soldier killed in recent years while fighting for our country. They were close friends. Chase Prasnicki was also killed in Afghanistan in 2012. He graduated from Rockbridge County High School in 2006. Ross graduated from the same school in 2006. Miller said Chase was a hero to Drew.
"Chase had a lot of same qualities as Drew and a lot of the same characteristics. Drew kind followed the same steps that Chase put in front of him," said Miller.
Robby Jones attended Virginia Military Institute with Ross' dad and the two families were neighbors. His daughter and Miller's son was best friends. Jones calls them the "three musketeers". Jones says Andrew's death is a great loss to the community and the world.
"His thing was to make the world a better place," said Jones.
Jones recalled the times when Ross would make phone calls to friends and family before deployments.
"It was like he was still here with us. But he always liked to tell us he loved us"
Ross was an Army captain and Green Beret.
"He loved his men. They chose him as a leader. In that special forces area, that's an elite bunch," said Jones.
Dennis Moore taught Ross in his senior year at Rockbridge County High School. He was his AP government teacher.
"He exuded integrity. But he was confident but humble. No self inflation of any kind," said Moore.
He said Ross made a lasting impact on his life and losing a student is never easy.
"It was tough yesterday. It was a punch in the gut," added Moore.
According to Ross' father on Facebook page, services for his son are still being planned.