HALETHORPE, Md. — The father of a Maryland sailor killed on a U.S. Naval destroyer says he’s coming to grips with a new reality without his best friend and only son.

The Navy identified 24-year-old Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin of Halethorpe, Maryland, as one of the sailors killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the Japanese coast Saturday. The sailors’ bodies were later found inside the wreckage.

Darrold Martin tells WJZ-TV that his son followed in his footsteps and was quickly rising in the ranks. All he can think of are his son’s final moments. He says his son was trying to call him, but didn’t get through.

He says “It’s very hard, he’s my only child, he’s all I have.”

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