Deborah Stokes remembers lying awake and waiting for her son, Jason, and his best friend Dean Pratt to come sneaking home, gliding into the driveway with the car''s headlights off, thinking they were fooling everyone.
Both boys became Marines and perhaps just in time: Pratt, it seemed, was on a first-name basis with the area''s Montana Highway Patrol officers.
"To be honest, they caused their share of trouble," Stokes said.
Pratt, 22, of Stevensville, Mont., died Aug. 2 in an explosion outside Fallujah. A 2000 high school graduate, he was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
"I don''t know how to condense Dean to a sheet of paper," his mother, Geri Morris, wrote in a note read at her son''s funeral. "He always had a smile on his face, even when he was in trouble ... He is responsible for 80 percent of our gray hair ... He is safe now."
The Rev. Jim Carlson said Pratt had a fondness for camping, fishing, soccer and baseball, and a great sense of humor. "He had an aversion to tying his shoes, and the Marines dealt with that," Carlson said.
Pratt is also survived by his father, Dan Pratt.