CBSNEWS.COM - Army Pfc. Marlin Rockhold's family hadn't been worried about him in recent weeks because they believed the end of the war meant more safety for the troops in Iraq.
"We had just received a letter from him the same day we got the news of his death, and he was so excited about coming home soon," said his uncle, Kevin Henderson of Hamilton, Ohio.
Rockhold, 23, who was based at Fort Stewart, was killed May 8 by a sniper attack in Baghdad. He is survived by his wife, DaVonna, and was the stepfather of her 8-year-old child.
Henderson, 34, said his nephew was like a little brother. They were raised together by Eileen Henderson, who is Henderson's mother and Rockhold's grandmother.
"Marlin was kind of quiet and shy, but he loved to joke around when he was with someone he knew well," Henderson said. "We are all so very proud of him."
Henderson said his nephew was neutral on the question of whether the United States should have gone to war in Iraq.
"He said it was his job to go, and that he would do his duty."