Nathan S. Barnes, who loved hiking, camping and hunting, didn't like to stay still. He ran cross country and was always complaining that he didn't get to run enough in the Army.
"He was always volunteering. He told us, 'I don't like to sit around,'" said Kevin Barnes, his father.
Barnes, 23, of American Fork, Utah, was shot July 17 in Rushdi Mullah while getting out of a helicopter. He was assigned to Fort Drum.
He and Lisa Blake, his sister, often talked philosophy and discussed novels in their e-mails. "He'd always ask me these deep questions, and I would have to think and think to come up with good answers," she said. "He's the smartest person I know - a ravenous reader."
He also is survived by his mother, Donna.
Family members said they would most remember Nathan Barnes for his love of children. During one mission, he spent some time in a basement room with three little Iraqi boys, who, he told his brother, reminded him of his family growing up.
"He got out his flashlight and made shadow puppets on the wall," said Tim Barnes. "He liked to make them laugh."