Colonel Bikkumalla Santosh Babu was supposed to come home, he was supposed to shift to Hyderabad with his wife and kids, his parents were supposed to see their son.

But none of that could happen.

On June 16, 2020, the Indian Army had a clash with the Chinese troops and Colonel Santosh was one of the 20 Indian soldiers who was martyred in the violence.

Speaking to The Indian Express, his father, B Upender, said:

Santoshi and the children were packing to shift to Hyderabad from Delhi, and the children told us how excited they were that we would be nearer. We were aware of the tensions at the border but never imagined this would happen.

Meanwhile his mother told the press:

He had made up his mind (about becoming an Army man) while at school.

Commanding Officer, 16 Bihar, Colonel Santosh had studied at a sainik school in Visakhapatnam from 1993 to 2000.

In another interview given to Hindustan Times, his father said that it was his dream to become an Army man. But he couldn't and his son fulfilled his desire.

I wanted to join the army in my student days. But somehow the family circumstances did not permit me. I realised my dreams through my son.

Both his parents said that while they were devastated, they were also proud because their son laid down his life for the country.

The clash between the Indian and the Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley was initially reported to have claimed lives of 2 Indian soldiers. However, later the number increased to 20.

We salute the soldiers for their ultimate sacrifice. They laid down their lives so that we can be safe.