In his father's favorite photograph, LCPL Adam Lucas is frozen mid-stride on a sunny day, clad in dress pants and a khaki shirt, smirking.
Sitting behind the steering wheel of his prized pickup truck in a picture taken by his fiancée is another grinning Adam, one that usually stays tucked inside his father's wallet. His smile stands out in every high school picture clipped and Xeroxed by old friends into a makeshift memorial.
In fact, the only photograph Kevin Lucas displays where his son isn't smiling is his Marine Corps portrait, for which Adam sets his mouth in a solemn line.
"He was my only son and my youngest child," Kevin Lucas said. "And he was my buddy."
Adam Lucas died on May 26, 2006 at the age of 20 while on patrol in the al Anbar province of Iraq. The marine had volunteered to be point man, the lead soldier in an expedition, even though it wasn't his turn. When the group rounded a corner, an insurgent sniper shot the lance corporal in the head.
Lucas was the fifth Guilford County resident to die in the Iraq war. Since his death nearly a year ago, three more have died, the latest less than a month ago. Aside from Cumberland County, the home of Fort Bragg and of 10 troops killed in action, more residents of Guilford County have died in Iraq than any other county in North Carolina...
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