PALMETTO (FOX 13) - A Manatee County family is grieving the loss of their loved one after he was killed during an Army training exercise in Ft. Hood, Texas.
Zachery Fuller, 23, was one of nine soldiers who died when floodwaters flipped their tactical vehicle last week.
Fuller's mother, Latrecia Colemon, said her family has been trying to cope as well as they can.
"We're holding up okay right now," Colemon said Sunday evening. "The hardest is when we get up in the morning because he's the first thing on our mind when we get up; he's the last thing on our mind when we go to bed."
Most of the victims were in their 20's. The youngest soldier who died was 19- years- old.
Colemon, who calls her son her "angel" found out about Zachery's death last week when two Army members showed up at her door.
"I kind of already knew what was coming because of the way they were dressed and my heart just pretty much dropped before they could even say anything," she told FOX 13, adding she'll miss everything about him. "[I'll miss] the way he is, his smile, his laugh, just everything."
For Zachery, joining the Army was like joining the family business; there are more than 70 years of service spread among Zachery's parents, grandfather and brother.
"We're all just...a big Army family," Colemon said. "Somewhere along the line I just think he was kind of in a rush to take care of himself because he was very responsible as well and he felt that at his age he should be moved out on his own."
Colemon said her family is in the beginning stages of planning his funeral.
For now, she'll just focus on how proud she'll always be of her son.
"Zachery, he was truly an angel. He'd just help people if he could help them," she said.
Zachery's body will be flown back to Florida from Ft. Hood.