Diane Sowinski remembers well something her son said to her years ago after he had watched the movie "Black Hawk Down" and saw the story of American soldiers dying for their country.
"He said to me, ''When I saw those men standing by our country, I decided I wanted to be one of them,''" Diane said.
Nicholas R. Sowinski, 25, of Tempe, Ariz., was killed Oct. 11 after being struck by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He was assigned to Fort Wainwright.
Sowinski graduated high school in 1999 and attended Arizona State University''s Tempe campus from fall 1999 through spring 2001. He loved camping, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, wrestling, movies, books, music and golf.
"He was so bright and it was enjoyable to try to one-up each other on who read more books," said Jaylee Draney, a friend. "The world has too few many individuals who not only have the ability to make something of themselves, but the drive as well. Nick was one of those people."
His mother said that she spoke with her son in April. "I said to him, ''You have been in a war now. Do you think you have made the right decision?'' And he said to me, ''Yes.''"