DUANE Groom had a dream to own and provide a shelter for young displaced boys trying to find a second chance at life.
That desire never became a reality for the 32-year-old after he lost his life last Saturday (Fiji time) serving as a British Army soldier in war torn Afghanistan.
The lance corporal's aspiration for homeless boys, however, has never been forgotten by those who knew him.
This week his former minders have come forward with new details about the dedicated soldier who was also a street boy at one point in his life.
Ulamila Cakau, the wife of the head pastor at Sabeto Assemblies of God in Nadi, reveals that Groom was homeless when he came to live at the Dream Centre in Sabeto in 2000.
"He had just lost his father and he was devastated by the loss but he also did not want to live with relatives so he adopted a life on the streets," she said.
"He had been living on and off the streets for several years when he came across one of our church members who was promoting our Dream Centre in Suva. We had just this intense transformation program at the Centre and we were looking for young boys. Groom was one of 10 boys who put their hand up to come, to make that move, and he really wanted to change."
The then 27-year-old immediately adopted the strict lifestyle that was asked of each resident and found himself engaged in the daily activities of cleaning, washing and running errands for his minders.
For the next three months, Groom was also taught the importance of faith and reliance in God while carrying out his daily chores.
As if preparing himself for his future in the army, Mrs Cakau said Groom was dedicated and was one of the few who displayed a sense of responsibility and maturity beyond his years.
"He was someone that we knew would go on to achieve great things and was very, very intelligent," Mrs Cakau said.
That intelligence was evident when he agreed to stay on at the centre when the three-month program ended.
"He wanted to be one of the councillors, so we let him stay and he also tutored maths and physics for the boys. It was also during this time that he told us that he wanted to join the British Army.
"We paid for his passport and airfare because we believed that he was going to have a bright future in the British Army," she said.
Following seven years of dedicated military service, Mrs Cakau said her family was devastated to hear the news of Groom's sudden passing.
"We all couldn't believe that he was gone."
She said she hoped someone would put her in touch with Groom's sister as her family wished to attend his funeral.
"We'd love to go. We would love to have a chance to say goodbye to him."
Groom died in action when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province. Two other soldiers from his unit - The Queen's Company, 1st Battallion Grenadier Guards - also lost their lives in this same incident.
Groom listed his sister who lives in NZ as his next of kin and arrangements are being made for him to be buried there.