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Community Remembers Lathius Foster

Reston Marine loved his family, friends and country.

When Lathius Foster graduated from South Lakes High School in 2003, he packed his things and headed straight to South Carolina for a Marine boot camp. He desired to serve his country.

"He served his country well," said Arnetta Foster, Lathius’s mother. A tour in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan followed the boot camp. He remained on active duty with the Marines when his unit returned to the United States, but was put on sick leave in order to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. He went to Wisconsin where he landed a job as a salesman for a sporting goods line. On Thursday, June 28, Lathius Foster, 22, was killed in a head-on car collision.

"He had a beautiful smile," said Arnetta Foster, who remembers her son as a very active young man who had many friends. "He made good grades, was very curious and was involved in many activities," she said. He was a Boy Scout and an active member of the Cartersville Baptist Church on Hunter Mill Road in Vienna.

Arnetta Foster adopted Lathius when he was four years old. He attended Herndon Elementary School, Dogwood Elementary School, Langston Hughes Middle School and then South Lakes High School before becoming a U.S. Marine. "He was off to boot camp on graduation day," said Arnetta Foster.

Eric Johnson taught Lathius Foster in history classes for three years at South Lakes. "He was a man that loved life and loved people," said Johnson. "I once said to another teacher, ‘If you didn’t like Lathius, you didn’t like people."

Johnson said Lathius Foster visited him a couple of times after high school, and Johnson noticed that he had grown up a great deal. "He was always upbeat and very friendly," said Johnson. "He was always a great kid and he turned into a fine young man," he said. Johnson said Lathius Foster seemed to have a great future ahead of him, and that he would miss him.

Arnetta Foster said the family is keeping strong. "His spiritual faith is strong, and so is ours," she said. She added that the family would remember him for his smile. "His love for others, his love for people, his smile and his outgoing spirit," she said. Lathius Foster is survived by his mother and father, two brothers, a sister and his biological family. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Cartersville Baptist Church. The church is located at 1727 Hunter Mill Road in Vienna.