Family members of a U.S. Army soldier from central Maine who was found dead Wednesday at a training area at Fort Hood, Texas, said they are in agony and remembering him as a caring and kind young man who served his country well.

Fort Hood officials said Friday that Spc. Casey Andrew Chapman, 20, was found unresponsive Wednesday in his vehicle at a training area on the base. The Army, in a press release from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office said the “circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.”

Chapman’s records with the military indicated he was from Augusta, but family said Saturday that he was from the Kennebec County town of Chelsea, where he had lived with his parents, Adelaide and Cory Chapman.

The family declined to be interviewed, but Casey’s sister, Carly Chapman, 23, said in an emailed statement on behalf of the family Saturday that he was “our hero” and the family has never dealt with a tragedy like this before. They loved Casey Chapman more than words can explain and was he “always happy,” the sister said.

“Absolutely nothing can take away the incredible amount of pain I’m experiencing because of the loss of my brother,” Chapman wrote. “He was my best friend, my sidekick and my day brightener. Words cannot express how proud I am of him and everything he accomplished. He was a strong soldier who did his country proud. Now, this all just feels so unreal. My handsome, funny, caring (brother) would do anything for anyone.”

She said so far family members “still don’t have any straight answers” about what happened to her brother at Ford Hood, and that after the “round about we’ve been given,” the military “probably will never make sense to any of us.”

Fort Hood officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Saturday on the status on the investigation.

Chapman graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina, and in January 2013 he entered active service as an artillery mechanic. Since September he had been assigned to 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Casey Chapman is a 2012 graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, according to Kennebec Journal archives.

According to Fort Hood officials, Chapman’s awards and decorations included four Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Medal.

Carly Chapman said her entire family was proud of her brother. She said he had a smile that could light up a room and eyes that showed his sincerity.

“I’ll still be looking out that window imagining you working on your truck or you coming to get me so I could listen to you start it up,” Chapman’s statement said. “We would ride around together with you blasting and singing your music or just hang out and talk.

” … This still doesn’t feel like it could be true, and I still have time to be your big sister and save you. Why do the good guys die young?”

This story will be updated.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

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Twitter: @kedwardskj