A text message with a video attachment said it all.
The text read: "I love my job," and the video showed U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brandon R. Pepper firing a large machine gun.
Pepper, of the York area, had sent the message to his friend, Dustin Dohm of Spring Garden Township in October.
On Saturday, Pepper was killed in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Monday. He was 31.
"He was very passionate in what he did," Dohm said.
Patrol: Pepper was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C, according to the Department of Defense.
He was a Special Forces communications sergeant.
Pepper was killed when his patrol came under attack from insurgents in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
It was Pepper's first deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. In 2003, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Passion: Dohm said he met Pepper while both attended Stevenson University in Greenspring, Md., and quickly became best friends and roommates.
"It was an honor to have grown up and been friends with him," Dohm said.
Pepper was originally from Maryland but moved to the York area a few years ago. He joined the Army about 12 years ago during his sophomore year of college and made joining the special forces his goal.
After about three years of self-imposed training and preparing, Pepper accomplished his dream and was awarded his Green Beret.
"He was committed," Dohm said. "It was his dream."
Dohm said he learned of Pepper's death yesterday. Dohm said he's still trying to come to terms with the death of his friend.
"It still hasn't really set in fully yet," Dohm said.
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