JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Family and friends are remembering retired United States Army Special Forces member, Major General Gary Harrell.

Harrell passed away Monday after a three-year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.

Command Sergeant Major Jay Lovelace knew Harrell well. He served with him in the United States Army special forces.

His favorite memory with Harrell was being asked to be his sergeant major.

“I felt deeply honored,” said Lovelace. “Here’s a man who had no idea who I really was, but he trusted me enough to ask me to be his senior enlisted person.”

Harrell served over 30 years with combat operations in Panama, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

From rescuing U.S. hostages to hunting down drug lords, it’s clear he was a leader that cared about his people.

“Anybody that knew him would tell you the same thing I’m saying,” said Lovelace. “He’s a very loving man, very concerned about people’s families. He was always taking care of everybody.”

The family told News Channel 11 that they plan to create a scholarship for kids in Harrell’s honor. They say this was his request.

A co-owner of his business, Harrell Group, says the company will continue operation.