Close friends and family of Texas native, Cpl. Catlin Mackenzie May, say they're still in shock of his sudden death this past weekend. On Saturday May went fishing alone on a boat and during bad weather witnesses saw him fall into the water.
Rescue crews were unable to locate his body in time. Despite his tragic death, his family says he lived to fight for our country.
"He enjoyed every bit of it and that was his purpose in life was to serve our country," said one of his older sisters, Tiffanye Boydston.
The youngest of six he got plenty of his share of teasing, however it was often that his older siblings looked up to him.
"He gave the best hugs 'it'll be alright sis' he'd really say why you crying? There's no reason to cry," said older sister, Lindye Dowden.
His family says his first name "Catlin" is just as unique as his personality.
"He's one of the toughest guys I know, he cut his finger almost in half and sat there and said well I guess we need to go to the hospital," said older brother, Thomas May.
In 2007 May became a soldier in the U.S. Army and had recently returned home from his first tour in Iraq.
"We spent that entire month all together as a family and that gave us some closure in this process that I'm glad that we had," said sister Tracye Joyner.
A decorated soldier, May was a 13 Field Artillery/Forward Observer and while in the Army he won several Strong Man competition awards.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, February 21, 2011 in the Elmwood Funeral Home in Abilene.