It was a death that brought to light the dangers of drug traffickers and the role the US Coast Guard plays in stopping them.
Coast Guard Officer Terrell Horne III was killed Sunday off the California coast trying to stop a suspected drug smuggling vessel.
The 34-year-old leaves behind family here South Georgia.
"I think certainly Terrell was a good example of what a good solider or sailor should be," said Billy Horne.
On what was just another day on the job turned tragic Sunday off the coast of California. Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III lost his life in an attempt to stop drug smugglers in a panga boat.
We caught up with Horne's great uncle who lives in Americus, he says his brother (Terrell Horne's grandfather) always thought highly of his grandson.
"He's very proud of the boy and it was just such a terrible shock. He called me almost immediately and he was just really shook up," said Horne.
"He was the best shipmate I have ever known. He was a friend. He was a big brother to all us and he is absolutely irreplaceable," said Horne III's Shipmate Stewart Siebert.
Horne's shipmates reacted emotionally after they heard of the news.
"At the end of today, everything I've told you about Chief Warren should tell you what an amazing person he was a leader, a friend, mentor, shipmate and we will dearly miss him," said Siebert.
Now Horne says he must move forward with mixed emotions remembering his 34-year-old great nephew who lost his life while doing what he loved and protecting this country.
"Sorrow mixed with pride. Certainly the pride is there and certainly the sorrow is there," said Horne.
Terrell Horne is survived by a wife and a daughter with another child on the way.
The drug smugglers' boat was located by helicopter and intercepted. The two suspects were detained and are now in custody.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.
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