At the end of last month, Sgt. Scott C. Rose got his first glimpse of his baby girl in action.
His wife, Michele, and father-in-law had hooked up a webcam so that Rose, around the world on assignment in Iraq, could watch through a computer monitor as 3-month-old Meghan Louise fussed and cooed from Rose's home in Fort Campbell, Ky.
Those images were the closest he ever got to his daughter. Little Meghan was born July 31, but Rose had been working in Iraq since early spring as a Blackhawk crew chief, said Paula Basso, Rose's mother-in-law, in a phone interview from her home in Vermont.
He was killed Friday when his U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was shot down near Tikrit.
Rose, whose hometown is listed as Fayetteville, was 30.
He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell, Ky. As crew chief, Rose was responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the helicopter and rode on every mission working the radio and helping with safety procedures.
He was good at his job, said his father, retired Lt. Col. Alfred "Butch" Rose, who lives in Fayetteville. Sgt. Rose's craft set a record in Iraq for maintenance, and he was chosen as the man to set the standards for all the other crew chiefs in his unit.
"I could not be more proud of a son," his father said. "There was no way, when I looked at what he did, I could not have done what he did. He was better than me."
Rose was looking forward to his next assignment: teaching other crew chiefs stateside in Fort Eustis, Va., where he could be near his wife and daughter.
Basso said the couple met at N.C. State University, and Michele, who was from Vermont, had found a perfect Southern gentleman. Rose was friendly, thoughtful and quiet -- "one you can walk up and hug," Basso said.
Basso said she and her husband heard about the attack on the news Friday morning. "We just felt something was terribly wrong," she said. "Then Michele called in the afternoon."
Rose was killed at the end of the United States' deadliest week in Iraq since the end of major combat operations. Five other soldiers were killed when the Blackhawk went down. Another 16 died when a Chinook helicopter was shot down a week ago. A roadside explosion killed two other soldiers Saturday outside Fallujah. In all, 35 died in seven days.
The deaths have left some soldiers' relatives upset at the violence that continues to claim lives.
"They say there's no war, and our guys are dying," Basso said. "I'm sorry, but if they're being shot at, it sure as hell isn't a picnic."