ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Nearly a year to the day after a Hardin County soldier was killed in combat his former school gave him top honors.
First Lieutenant Eric Yates was one of eight Hardin County school graduates recognized as this year's distinguished alumni. Eric was 26 years old when he was killed while serving with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan.
His parents say the honor is extra special because Eric had plans to come back and teach at his alma mater when he was done serving.
"He was a big history buff and 9/11 changed his life tremendously," said Kathy Yates, Eric's mother. "Once 9/11 hit he couldn't get enough of history and the world and his surroundings."
The Yates family said they also have a scholarship in Eric's name set up at Western Kentucky University where he attended college. The first of those was given out this year.