AYDEN, PITT COUNTY -

The father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan says he is grateful for the people who honor his son's sacrifice on Memorial Day.

Army Spc. Joshua Nelson was 22 years old killed on September 16, 2012 by Afghan police during an inside attack. He's the last service member from Eastern North Carolina killed in action.

Two years later, his father, Brian Nelson, says that Memorial Day honors his son's decision to serve in the military. "They're fighting for their country--there's no other way to put it," he says. "They're doing as they're asked to do, and Memorial Day honors them."

He says Memorial Day honors the people who volunteer to serve their country, like his son.

Nelson says he and his family are doing well since losing Joshua. He and his extended family took a trip in November to the State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville where his son is buried. He says that if Joshua had been on the trip, he would have been laughing and joking around, so his family did the same.

In the last two years, the military has matured, Nelson says, and taken steps to prevent troops from being killed in action. He says that's why he thinks it's been so long since someone from Eastern North Carolina has been killed. He says the military is doing a good job protecting troops.

Joshua Nelson graduated from North Pitt High School. He left for Afghanistan in May 2011.