"But no one could find him anywhere," she said. "No one could find my husband because he was gone."
Staff Sgt. DeCrow, 32, was fatally wounded along with 12 others in the shootings at a processing center at the sprawling Army base.
Staff Sgt. DeCrow was there preparing for his deployment to Iraq, Fort Gordon spokesman Buzz Yarnell said Saturday.
The Indiana native was a satellite communications operator-maintainer and had been assigned to a signal unit at Fort Hood since September. His deployment was expected soon. He had been stationed at Fort Gordon in 2000 and apparently liked the area, Mr. Yarnell said.
His wife told Army officials Saturday that she did not want to talk to the public or take part in media interviews. However, through a military spokesman, Mrs. DeCrow said she wanted everyone to know what a loving man her husband was.
"His infectious charm and wit always put others at ease," she said. "He was well loved by everyone. He was a loving father and husband and he will be missed by all."
The couple have a 13-year-old daughter, Kylah.
Several neighbors in the River Birch Landing subdivision said Saturday that they didn't know the DeCrows that well, but such was typical with many Army families.
"We have a lot of military people in this neighborhood," said Mary Adcock, a Grier Circle resident, noting how one of the DeCrows' next-door neighbors was recently deployed overseas.
Patty McDonald, who also lives on Grier Circle, said she also didn't know the DeCrows and was shocked to hear there was a local connection to the tragedy at Fort Hood.
"That's awful news," she said. "We would be glad to help do something for them."
According to military and family members, Staff Sgt. DeCrow graduated in 1996 from Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Ind., married Marikay -- his high school sweetheart -- that spring and joined the Army in the summer.
"He always wanted to be a soldier," his wife said Saturday.
When his current deployment ended, she said, she had hoped they would reunite at their home in Columbia County when another post at Fort Gordon opened up.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but the burial is expected to take place in Indiana, according to a military spokesman.
The soldier's father, Daniel DeCrow, of Fulton, Ind., said he talked to his son last week to ask him how things were going at Fort Hood.
"As usual, the last words out of my mouth to him were that I was proud of him," he told The Associated Press. "That's what I said to him every time -- that I loved him and I was proud of what he was doing. I can carry that around in my heart."
Interviews by Staff Writer Preston Sparks and information from The Associated Press, the U.S. Army and WSBT-TV in Indiana were used in this report.
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or email@example.com
OBAMA TO ATTEND MEMORIAL
WASHINGTON --- President Obama will attend a memorial Tuesday honoring victims of the Ford Hood shootings, an attack he described as "all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable" because it occurred on the nation's largest Army post.
He praised those who ended the shootings, which killed 13 and wounded 30 others, and lauded the armed services' diversity -- a move designed to calm tensions about the suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
"They are Americans of every race, faith and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers," Mr. Obama said in his radio and Internet address Saturday, airing the weekend before Veterans Day.
Mr. Obama on Friday ordered flags at the White House and other federal buildings to be at half-staff until Veterans Day, on Wednesday.