While stationed in Alaska, Jason J. Corbett met Amanda Dodson, the love of his life. He taught her to drive a stick shift in his Subaru, which he dubbed, "Blue Steel."
The couple enjoyed watching sunsets and fishing for monster salmon in Alaska's Kenai River. Before Corbett was deployed to Iraq, they went black bear hunting.
"A smile never left his face," she said.
Corbett, 23, of Casper, Wyo., was killed Jan. 15 in Karmah by small-arms fire. He was assigned to Fort Richardson.
His last name was Vantrease when he attended Kelly Walsh High School, where he studied Latin and competed in track, and graduated in 2001. He studied biology at Casper College before joining the Army.
"The first thing that comes to mind is he had the biggest, friendliest smiles," said Mark Hileman, the school's assistant boys track coach. "That is the way he was. I rarely saw him without it."
For softball games, he'd show up in orange shoes, knee-high socks and a red headband. That, his friends said, was just Jason being Jason. He also was a skier and a snowboarder.
He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Megan and Ken Schafer.