Three-year-old Anthony Lutz III has been upset within the past few days.
"He asked me yesterday when Daddy was coming home, and I didn't know how to explain it to him," Tiffany Lutz said. "I really didn't say anything."
Her husband, U.S. Army Pfc. George A. "Tony" Lutz II, was killed in Iraq on Thursday when his patrol was attacked by small- arms fire.
Lutz, 25, of Virginia Beach, Va., was assigned to the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command. He was deployed to Iraq in November and was scheduled to return in July.
"He told me if this ever happened, that he was very proud to be a soldier, and he was proud to go and fight for his country, and that he was glad to go to Iraq," Tiffany Lutz said.
Tony Lutz always wanted others around him to enjoy themselves, said his father, George Lutz. Once, after a baseball game during his younger days, he pulled off his socks and did an impromptu puppet show for his teammates. Tony played baseball at Atlantic Shores Christian School and was captain of the cross country team at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.
"He thought about everyone else and how everyone was doing and what everybody might be going through," George Lutz said. "He was looking to make sure that everybody had a good time."
Relatives spent New Year's Day at Fort Bragg making funeral arrangements. Plans include burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Tony is survived by his wife and two children, George Anthony III, 3, and 5-month-old Ava.
At least 2,178 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Staff writer Stanley B. Chambers Jr. can be reached at 956-2426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.