Sgt. Andrew Bossert served two and a half years in South Korea as part of the 2nd Infantry Division, 44th Engineer Battalion before being deployed in Iraq.
He was killed Monday.
Diane Bossert says her family is in shock, but calls her son a wonderful person, who always put others ahead of himself.
The 24 year-old is survived by a wife of two years, his parents and an older brother and sister.
But Sgt. Bossert is also mourned by his community, who knew him as a star athlete.
"He joined us in either 8th or 9th grade from Cassville and that was when Cassville had just won all their state championships and so of course the big news at the time was we got a ringer from Cassville," says Steve Mieden, the district administrator.
"He thrived his senior year. He was the most valuable player on our team," says former basketball coach Mark Brone. "He would do anything for you. I think it really, the fact that he died for us basically doing his job."
A memorial has been planned for Tuesday, March 15 at the J.S. Wozney Funeral Chapel in Cochrane.