Michael Rogers and his older brother grew up going to the Missouri River near their Montana home and catching crawdads.
They would bring the critters back to their mom, who would use them to make homemade gumbo.
Rogers, of White Sulphur Springs, Mont., also loved snowball fights and building snow forts, said his brother, James Westcott, a sergeant in the Marines.
Rogers died Nov. 27 in a non-combat related incident at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad. He was 23 and assigned to Fort Drum.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Private First Class Rodgers," Brig. Gen. John Walsh said. "There are countless others who are sharing in your loss."
At a service in Townsend, Mont., Westcott spoke of growing up in the country with his younger brother. When Westcott broke down at one point in the service, an aunt took his written words and read them for Rogers'' family and friends.
"My little brother is on a new adventure now," Westcott wrote.
Walsh presented Rogers'' family with commendation and good conduct medals during the ceremony.
Rogers is survived by his mother and brother.