MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a young man who made them proud when he achieved his dream to become a U.S. Navy pilot.

But after serving his country in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, Lt. Robert Huish was killed by a hit-and-run driver, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

“It’s really hard to understand, to accept — it’s just a bad nightmare,” his mother, Lisa Huish, says.

The 26-year-old survived the war in Afghanistan only to lose his life at home.

“These guys, they fly helicopters, and they do it off the back of a ship,” Lance Huish, father of the pilot, said.

Huish was riding a bike near the naval base in Jacksonville, Fla. Where he lived when he was hit by a speeding driver who kept going. He died Thursday.

Police don’t have an exact description of the car. They say it’s a 1998 or 1999 Isuzu Rodeo, Amigo or a Honda Passport.

Monday, neighbors in the Merrillville community where Lt. Huish grew up remembered him.

“He’s polite. He’s gracious. He was just a nice young man,” Mary Ellen said.

A flag hung outside the Huish family home — a symbol of his dedication to serving his country. His parents say it’s something he’s wanted to do since he was eight years old.

“He was so driven that he got a congressional nomination, went to the academy. He did it all on his own,” Huish’s mother said.

Although it is a difficult loss for the Huish family, they say they take some comfort in their decision to donate Robert’s organs. He will be able to help about 30 people.

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