Sgt. Keicia M. Hines was working in the arms room handing out weapons when she met Sean Hines. They married on Christmas Eve in 2001.
"We clowned a lot. We had fun, bottom line. I was in love with her," Sean Hines said.
The 27-year-old soldier from Citrus Heights, Calif., died after being struck by a vehicle in Mosul, Iraq, on Jan. 14. She was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Sean Hines said his wife loved the movies and loved to shop. The day before she died, she sent him an e-mail asking him to order some clothes and shoes from a trendy store.
In the e-mail she told her husband she was "exhausted and couldn''t wait to get home and that she loved me," Sean Hines said.
"She was having a difficult time being in Iraq with all the devastation," said her mother, Beverly Coleman of Sacramento, Calif. "I would just tell her to take it one day at a time."
On the same day that Coleman learned of her daughter''s death, received a package from Hines containing a purse stuffed with beads, money and a note that said "I love you, Mommy."