Wakeman was a health care specialist who first joined the Army in September 2004.
Dustin S. Wakeman took some college classes, but didn't apply himself. That was his assessment.
"He told me he had to start listening to somebody," said his father, David Wakeman. "It was something he felt like he needed to do to make a better life for himself."
Wakeman, 25, of Fort Worth, Texas, was killed Aug. 4 by a roadside bomb in Hawr Rajab. He was a 2000 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Richardson.
In high school, Wakeman was active in the band and the drama, math and science clubs. He later took classes at Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Arlington.
He was trained as a medic and spoke of pursuing a career in medical services. "He liked helping people," David Wakeman said. "He found that fulfilling."
Since his death, his friends have filled his MySpace page with goodbyes. One was from a soldier who wrote of seeing Wakeman minutes before he died.
"We were joking like always in the midst of chaos," the soldier wrote. "You were always there. I will remember the lunches, the nights out, and the conversations only we would get."
He also survived by his mother, Margaret.