PASCAGOULA (WLOX) -- Petty Officer Third Class George Earl Thompson Jr, a 24-year-old Navy sailor from Pascagoula, is being remembered as a hard working, loveable and admirable young man.
Thompson was killed this weekend when a massive wave hit his ship during a routine training operation off the coast of Florida. He received a deadly head injury during the storm.
His family mourns the life of their beloved sailor, who gave his life serving the country he loved
"He's always with me. I always tell my daddy, I'll see him again. I'll see him again. You know, you've just got to hold on to that," Alicia Leverett said.
For the Thompson family, holding on to the memory of Thompson will certainly cause tears, but it's already bringing smiles.
"He's the kind of person you can't stay mad at. He's my brother, the only brother," Leverett said.
Throughout the years, the Navy sailor always had a way of making his three sisters, mother, and father laugh with his practical jokes and contagious smile. When Thompson joined the Navy in 2004, his parents were proud.
"Anything he did, I said, 'Son, pursue it. If it's something you don't like, then make the best of it,'" Gwen Thompson said.
"He was very protective of us. We were all a very close knit family, always talking to each other. It seems like when one person went through one thing, all of us pulled together," Leverett said.
Now Alicia Leverett and her sisters are pulling together to cope with their brother's tragic death at sea. And without many answers, George's father chooses to focus on his son's ultimate sacrifice.
"There's a lot of things we don't understand, a lot of questions that go unanswered. I think when he looks down, he looks down and has a purpose. He sees straight to the heart, and when God gets something, he's gonna get the best," George Earl Thompson, Sr. said.
The Thompsons believe George Jr. was the best, and they're counting on this young sailor's memory to live on as he died serving the country he loved.
Thompson's funeral arrangements have not been completed yet. A naval investigation is still ongoing.