American troops have begun withdrawing from Afghanistan, but casualties are still devastating loved ones at home. Now, a Hawaii family mourns the loss of a fallen airman.
Reid Nishizuka, 30, knew he was going to be a pilot since middle school. The oldest brother of three, he was the one they leaned on for advice.
"He was just always there for me you know. He always knew what he wanted to do and I feel that he did what he needed to do to accomplish that. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to do his whole life," said Reid's youngest brother Reyn Nishizuka.
He was a decorated captain in the Air Force with more than a dozen medals of valor.
"He loved flying so this is what he wanted to do and serve his country," said Reid's mother Karen Hatakeyama.
Nishizuka had just deployed to Afghanistan in March from Beale Air Force base, and had plans for his family when he got back.
"He was so supportive, and right before he left in January, he told me he was going to take care of me and my husband," said his mother.
Saturday morning they received news that he died serving his country, in a crash of an MC-12 aircraft. Their last memories with him are of a joyous holiday season.
"He loved music, he played the piano all day long when he came here," said his mother.
"During Christmas time, we would just all play Christmas music together as a family, that's something I would never forget," said Nishizuka.
The crash of the aircraft Reid Nishizuka was in is still under investigation. A memorial service is pending.
Hawaii family mourns loss of fallen airman
Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua died in Afghanistan aircraft crashPublished 5:12 PM HST Apr 28, 2013
American troops have begun withdrawing from Afghanistan, but casualties are still devastating loved ones at home. Now, a Hawaii family mourns the loss of a fallen airman.Recommended