GREENSBORO, NC, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, I CO, 3D BN, 8TH MAR, (2-28 BCT, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC AR RAMADI, IRAQ 05/26/2006
The flags of the United States and the U.S. Marine Corps are at half-staff on the Lucas family flag pole. The Memorial Day weekend hits hard this year for the northwest Greensboro couple, who learned Friday that they lost their son to war.
Marine Lance Corporal Kevin Adam Lucas — who went by Adam — was killed during a battle in Iraq. His parents, Kevin and Sandra Lucas, knew few more details Saturday afternoon. They knew their 20-year-old son came under enemy fire and was fatally shot during a security patrol Friday morning.
They knew he would never receive the four care packages already sent his way. Or drive his “baby” — a red Dodge 4×4 pickup parked in their driveway. But their son was a proud Marine who believed in his mission, and the couple spread that message Saturday without hesitation.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to lose my son,” his father said. “He felt strongly about what he was doing. I have to honor and support that.”
Adam Lucas grew up in a family where you had to use the fingers on both hands to count all the relatives with military experience. A wiry kid with a wide smile, Lucas had a black belt in tae kwon do and could take you down quicker than a blink, his father remembered.
With Adam Lucas, it was always the Marines. And when the family moved to Greensboro from Mississippi in 2002, they bought a home in an area that allowed him to attend Northwest High School, which had the only Navy Junior ROTC program at that time, his father said.
After graduating in 2004, Lucas spent nearly two years in the Marines before leaving in March for his first tour in Iraq. Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, he was stationed at Camp Blue Diamond, a Marine base in Iraq’s Al Anbar province.
He called his parents about three times — the last on Mother’s Day. He talked about the bad mosquitoes. And how he wanted them to send vitamins and protein drinks. And, of course, the unrelenting hot weather. But he believed in being there.
“Americans need to keep remembering Sept. 11 and quit bickering over the little things,” his father remembered him saying.
He was due back in October and had planned a military wedding with his fiancee at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia in January. Another tour in Iraq awaited him six months later.
Sitting in his living room Saturday, Kevin Lucas tried to do his son proud, showing no tears or emotion. Occasionally he would buckle, and his wife, standing nearby, would take over. The father had agreed to interview after interview Saturday, and his face showed weariness.
At one point, he let out a deep sigh. “I don’t know what else to say.”