AIKEN - Spc. Jason L. Moski's friends and family remembered him Monday as an all-American boy who died a patriotic and dedicated family man.
He played football for the Wagener-Salley High School team and used to play drums in a rock band. He was known to play a prank or two, and when his country went to war in Iraq, he felt obligated to help out, his brother Bradley Moski said.
"He loved to get in the middle of things," Mr. Moski said.
On Friday, Spc. Moski, 24, was killed in Taji, Iraq, by a makeshift explosive that went off while he was on a foot patrol, the Department of Defense said.
The former Blackville resident joined the Army in 2002, his brother said. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery, based at Fort Riley, Kan.
He grew up and graduated with the twin sons of Phyllis Gantt, a social studies teacher at Wagener-Salley. She recalled the time Jason was asked where he was sending his high school transcript, and he jokingly said Harvard University.
"He was just a good, average kid," she said. "Everybody liked him."
The military plans to hold honorary services for Spc. Moski in Kansas on Friday. His body will be buried next to his mother near Springfield, his brother said.
His wife, Holly Moski, said her husband was especially fond of their 3-year-old daughter, Haley.
"He was a wonderful husband and father," Mrs. Moski said by telephone from Kansas. "He loved that baby girl more than anything. That was his pride and joy."
"Make sure you put in there, 'Haley says my daddy's my hero,'" Mrs. Moski said tearfully.
Reach Josh Gelinas at (803) 648-1395, ext. 113, or Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409.