A 1st Armored Division soldier killed earlier this week in Iraq was identified Friday by the Pentagon as Staff Sgt. Jose Lanzarin.

Lanzarin, 28, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, deployed from Baumholder, Germany. He was killed in Hit on Tuesday when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle during combat, officials said.

“He always had that dream of going to fly helicopters, he would say, to save lives,” Silvia Lanzarin, his aunt, was quoted as saying to KCBD television in Lubbock, Texas.

“We were proud of him. We were very proud. He was just concerned about the main people who were suffering, like for example, in Iraq. He was always compelled with the children basically. We suffer, he would say, and they suffer too. Not everybody’s bad.”

Jose Lanzarin was born in Del Rio, Texas, then moved to Lubbock and later Abilene, family members said. He joined the Army out of high school, and met his wife in Germany. Family members were quoted as saying they wanted to wait until he was out of the military before having kids.

“The saddest part is that he only had two months, so he could finish with his contract, he was done with his duties, and he had a lot of dreams, a lot of things to do,” his aunt was quoted as saying.

“I thank every single one in Lubbock for your prayers. May God bless every single one that has their loved ones where ever there’s a war going on,” Silvia Lanzarin told the television station.

Family members said they are finalizing funeral and burial arrangements. A 1st Armored Division spokesman in Germany said a memorial service there is pending.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now