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Lt. Col. Chuck Sexton, left, commander of 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, part of the 1st Armored Division, and Capt. Chris Ayers, commander of Company B, honor one of their fallen soldiers Tuesday by placing a plaque on a building at their camp in Baghdad.
Lt. Col. Chuck Sexton, left, commander of 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, part of the 1st Armored Division, and Capt. Chris Ayers, commander of Company B, honor one of their fallen soldiers Tuesday by placing a plaque on a building at their camp in Baghdad. (Ron Jensen / S&S)

It was his chosen career, short but sweet.

Pvt. Kurt Frosheiser, 22, of Des Moines, Iowa, wanted to join the Army badly enough that he was on his way to enlisting just after Sept. 11, 2001, until his family caught wind of his plans.

“His [twin] brother Joel, all of us, really. Everybody talked him out of it,” his mother, Jeanie Hudson, said in a phone interview Monday from her home in Ankeny, Iowa.

“Everybody just wanted to be sure this was really what he wanted to do.”

Frosheiser was certain enough that last April, after he’d received his high school equivalency diploma and taken some college classes, he went all the way. He joined the Army and became a scout, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Armored Division’s Baumholder, Germany-based 2nd Brigade.

“What he told me was, he wanted to be a cavalry scout,” Hudson said. “He said it was a very dangerous field. But he told me he had what it takes to be a cavalry scout.”

But the war Frosheiser ended up fighting is tough to train for — a war where there is seldom a clear enemy to scout, and the battlefield has no boundaries.

Last Saturday, Frosheiser died when the Humvee he was driving hit a homemade bomb while his squad was on mounted patrol in Baghdad, according to a Department of Defense news release. He had been in Iraq for three weeks.

Until Iraq, life had been good.

Back home last summer after basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., her son went to a Chicago Cubs game, Hudson said. “He loved the Cubs,” she said. “He went to the game and he caught a [ball] with his ball cap.”

He also enjoyed going to South Bend, Ind., for Notre Dame football games, she said.

When he got to Germany, he did what soldiers have done for decades and headed for the clubs. Frosheiser told his mom about the Euro Palace near Frankfurt. “He said it was the biggest club he’d ever seen,” she recalled.

The last message from Kurt was a Nov. 6 e-mail to his father, Chris Frosheiser, who lives in Des Moines. His son had returned that day from a mission in a Humvee, which he’d just learned to drive, the father told the Des Moines Register.

In addition to his parents and his brother, Frosheiser is survived by older sister Erin Lacey.

On Monday morning, the family went to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars to get a gold star to add to their blue star banner, symbolizing the sacrifice of families with serving soldiers. The tradition, which started during World War I, is to place a gold star atop the blue should the soldier die.

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