Updated: Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009, 7:22 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009, 7:22 PM EST
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - A western New York native has made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq. Private First Class Albert Jex of Lockport was killed in the deadliest attack on Americans in nearly a year.
Bill and Cathy MacFarlane remember their son Albert Jex as a young man who loved fast cars, loved his country, and was a role model to their son James.
Cathy MacFarlane said, "...loved his country, and did his job to the best of his ability."
That determination took Private First Class Albert Jex to Iraq, where he served as a bodyguard for Army brass, handling a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on a Humvee.
But a suicide bomber cut Jex's life short at a police checkpoint in Mosul, also killing three other GIs and an Iraqi interpreter.
Cathy talked to Albert just hours before that fateful moment.
Cathy MacFarlane said, "And it was one of those things, 'you look skinny, you need to eat more.'"
Bill MacFarlane was Jex's stepfather, but they are still family.
Bill MacFarlane said, "And I yelled to Cathy to tell him 'I love him.' He heard me, and Cathy said he said, 'I love you, too, Bill.' That made me feel real good."
While Al's loss is immeasurable, the MacFarlane's take some comfort in President Barack Obama's recognition of their son as a hero.
When questioned about media policy surrounding the return of America's war casualties, it was a reality check for a new commander-in-chief.
President Obama said, "The most sobering moment is signing letters to the families of our fallen heroes."
Al Jex's last visit with his family was back in December, just before he shipped out.