ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Alexia Collart and Bart Collart of Arlington said the reality of their son Spencer Collart’s death has not set in.

“We take one hour at a time, not one day at a time,” Bart said.

Cpl. Spencer Collart, 21, was one of three Marines killed during a routine Osprey training exercise off the coast of Darwin, Australia on Aug. 26. Three other Marines are being treated for injuries in the hospital.

Collart graduated form Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington in 2020. His teachers said he long dreamed of serving his country.

“The military was perfect for Spencer,” said Frank DeMarco, his former guidance counselor. “He went after what he wanted.”

His advanced high school coursework prepared him for a life of service, taking dual-enrolled physics and aviation.

“I would like to believe that Spencer, he died in uniform serving his country, doing what he loved to do,” Anthony Frazier Jr., Spencer Collart’s former aviation teacher, said.

Spencer Collart served as the Osprey crew chief. His parents said his crewmates and friends in the Marine Corps praised their son’s bravery.

“That brings us a lot of comfort,” Alexia Collart said.

“We’re just amazed at how many lives he’s touched,” Bart Collart added.

The two vividly remember him as a little boy.

“He was a get-up-and-go kid,” Alexia Collart, said. “He was very active from the start. He played travel soccer, he played lacrosse, he loved wrestling. He was super smart at the same time, he won a gold medal for science.”

The Collarts said they know that there are dark days ahead as they mourn their son. They said they take solace in reminders of him in their home, including photos of his dog Stella, who died a week before Spencer Collart did. The family called him in Australia, so he could say goodbye to Stella.

“We know they’re together now,” Bart Collart said.