BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Her brave tours of duty took her around the world, but now a local soldier is being remembered after a deadly crash in Oklahoma took her life.
Sgt. Myrnairis Bones-Cepeda served in Iraq and had just returned from a peacekeeping mission in Turkey.
"I'll always remember her smile and her twirling on my floor on her 31st birthday," said her mother.
Memories of Myrnairis Bones-Cepeda, an Army Sergeant just home for her birthday on Jan. 1, that help her mother, Myrnairis Cepeda, cope with her daughter's sudden loss. She was killed in a hit-and-run accident at Fort Sill, Okla. on Feb. 2.
"I'm holding on to my faith, I can't think about her loss but have to celebrate her life," her mother said.
Myrnairis excelled in school, getting a scholarship to Cathedral High School in Boston, then a scholarship to Norwich University. She left to enlist and served in Iraq, also spending time in Japan and Korea, most recently serving in Turkey as a peacekeeper before coming home to debrief at Fort Sill.
There is one thing her mother will always remember about her only daughter, who she called Chici.
"Her smile," her mother said. "She had such a beautiful gorgeous smile."
Since the accident, that hit-and-run driver has been arrested. A wake for Sgt. Bones-Cepeda will be held Tuesday and a funeral service will be on Wednesday. Cepeda will then take her daughter home to be buried in Puerto Rico.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.