LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Airman First Class Joel Barrow was laid to rest today after dying in Adana, Turkey on March 27th.
Family and friends reminisced about the good times with barrow who lost his life at the young age of 20.
Justin Lee remembers the heart of his cousin.
"Joel was a great kid," said Lee. "He loved life. He loved his family."
Airman Barrow was born in South Carolina but lived in both Grand Lake and Ragley. He was a 2010 graduate of South Beauregard High School.
While times now are difficult, Lee says airman barrow would want his family and friends to focus on the positive.
"He did what he loved to do," said Lee. "It wasn't a struggle for him. It was something that he dreamed about for most of his life. We're sad now but I think he would want us to realize that in the end he did what he loved. And even though he lost his life, I think he would want us to remember that."
Barrow's father was also in the military.
"He grew up around that so he was very aware of that all his life," said Lee. "Very aware of the service to his country. So he felt very strongly about that."
Notes from fellow airmen and women were read during his service, airmen and women who served with him in Turkey and were touched by his character. They weren't the only ones airman touched during the short time he was given.
"I know that I will be telling my son about him," said Lee. "I want him to know that you can be tough and that you can still be a loveable person. I think that's one thing that he epitomized, was he epitomized that you can be a tough guy and you can serve your country and you can do all these things. You can be an outdoors kind of guy but you can also be a loving person."
Barrow was a strong athlete in high school, including running with lake area express.
He leaves behind his parents Troy and Angela and other extended family, as well as his fiancée Lenae Cordell.