A young wife is mourning the loss of her husband who died in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. Pfc. Markie Sims, of Citra, was killed last week after a bomb exploded next to his vehicle.
Shakeli Boone said her unborn child is already acting like his father, seeming to place his little fingers in the shape of an "L," just like his father would do to joke around with friends.
"He used to do like this to me a lot," said Boone. "And on the ultrasound he just randomly did that. That's why I'm like he looks like him and he acts just like him."
Boone married her high school sweetheart, Sims, in October. She is pregnant with their first child, a little boy. The baby's stocking still hangs next to his father's -- the man he'll never meet.
Boone found out the news on Sunday.
"I had just talked to him the day before," Boone said. "The last thing he told me was ' I love you." I said 'I love you, too.' He was like, 'No, I love you. I really love you. I said 'I really love you, too.' I never thought that that would be the last time I talked to him."
Sims' grew up in Citra. The 20-year-old attended North Marion High School, and graduated from Marion Technical Institute in 2011. He was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, under control of the 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Sims' parents recently returned from Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, where they had to identify their son's body.
"He always really wanted to go into the military," said Henry Sims, the soldier's father. "That was his plan out of high school. He was kind of like a little GI Joe."
Sims' brother was scheduled to start basic training on January 6th, his brother's birthday. The date has been pushed back.
"He just was a great, great son," said Wanda Thompson, his mother.
He's one who will be remembered for his sacrifice. He died protecting this country and protecting his family.
"He named his baby already," said Thompson.
"Every time we got on the phone he'd say 'I can't wait to see Kayden," said Boone. "In my mind, I keep thinking, what am I going to do?" said Boone. "I never thought that I'd have a baby and Markie not be here."
Funeral plans are pending.