(KMOV.com) – The family of a local veteran who recently passed away from malaria in Africa says it can’t afford to bring him home.
James Loughride spent 15 years in the Army and reached the rank of staff sergeant. His daughter Raven decided to join the Army because of him.
“We had a really good relationship. Ever since I was little, and could remember, I always wanted to be like my dad,” she said.
In early January, James went on a trip to Tanzania. Raven is based at Fort Riley, Kansas and expected to move back to De Soto, Mo. in mid-March. She said her father planned to be back from his trip to help her move.
But in mid-February, James passed away. Raven said she later learned from a friend of her father that he contracted malaria.
"I didn't believe it. It was really hard because I was at my sister-in-law's wedding. It was just a lot. I did not want to believe it at all," Raven said. "Ahh, I found out (he had malaria) when he died. He didn't tell me."
Raven says she and her small family are struggling to bring him home. She said they were hoping to bring his body home for a funeral, but now says he must be cremated.
"It's just my brother, my 83-year-old grandfather and me to come up with the money to bring my dad home. It is just a lot of money in a short amount of time. I promised my grandpa I would get him home. So, it would just mean a lot. Like a world of a difference," Raven said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help.