A North Carolina man has died from wounds suffered from a roadside bomb that exploded in Iraq, the military said Wednesday.
Army Spec. Darryl Wardlaw "Ward" Linder, 24, died Tuesday in Baqubah, the Defense Department said. Wardlaw was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
Linder joined the Marine Corps in 2001 and served in Afghanistan. After working for his father briefly, he enlisted in the Army and deployed to Iraq in January.
"He said he wanted to go to Iraq," said his father, Darryl Linder. "There was nothing here as exciting. He was very much a patriot."
His survivors include a 3-year-old son, Kyle.
Darryl Linder last talked to his son on Father's Day. The next news about his son came when an Army chaplain visited the family Tuesday.
Linder, who graduated from Fred T. Foard High School, excelled in football and baseball in high school, said his lifelong friend, Jeff Fulbright. He also liked to hunt, fish, go camping and bowl.
"He had a magnetism that attracted everybody," Darryl Linder said.
In the midst of combat, Ward wrote a Mother's Day card on a pack of meals ready to eat and mailed it home.
He was due to come home on leave next month.