Jason Moski's 3-year-old daughter has had a hard time accepting her father's death.
The girl has clung to the belief that he will one day return home "because he promised her he would," said neighbor Adelle McKenna.
Moski, 24, of Blackville, S.C., was killed Feb. 25 when an explosive detonated near his patrol in Taji. He was based at Fort Riley.
Moski worked at a manufacturing plant before he enlisted in the Army in August 2002. He was deployed to Iraq in February.
Moski, a 1999 high school graduate, had left a good impression on his teachers. He was a drummer who also played football.
"He was just an overall good kid," his teacher Phyllis Gantt said. "All of us remember him fondly."
He is also survived by his wife, Holly.