Jason G. Defrenn's father said the military gave his son the excitement he had sought as a boy while hunting and fishing.
"When he was young, he had a spirit of wanting to be a hero," Garth DeFrenn said. "He was one of those kids who wanted adventure."
Defrenn, 34, of Barnwell, S.C., died Feb. 2 when his helicopter went down in Taji. He was assigned to Fort Hood.
DeFrenn, a nine-year Army veteran, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. He had been flying military helicopters for approximately five years.
"My son was fearless but he was thoughtful," said Garth DeFrenn. "I think all soldiers are like that - fearless and thoughtful. They do something we can't do."
After learning of her husband's death, his pregnant wife, Jenny, was taken to a hospital, where doctors worked to induce labor. Christopher Andrew DeFrenn was born Feb. 6.
He also is survived by three other children, Alex, 15, Jessica, 10, and Michael, 5.
"Alexander looks like him, acts like and smells like him. Jessica has her father's heart," said his father. "Michael has his father's spirit. He is a warrior and wants to grow up to be a soldier, too."