CANARSIE - A Canarsie family is preparing to bury its military son who spent his entire life serving his country before he was killed in Iraq.

The military says 26-year-old Mario Nelson was killed when a rocket grenade exploded near his convoy Sunday. According to relatives, Nelson, whose family emigrated from Haiti, had a deep appreciation for the United States and a sense of duty. After graduating from George Westinghouse High School, he joined the National Guard. He also volunteered at Ground Zero after September 11th. Family members say the attacks led him to join the Army.

The family has tentatively scheduled Nelson?s wake, which will be open to the public, for Friday.