A soldier with ties to the Eastern Shore has been killed in Iraq, his family said yesterday.
Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Wade Doyle, the son of Debbie Grove of Pocomoke City, was one of four soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division killed Thursday when their Humvee hit a land mine in the Iraqi city of Samarra.
Doyle, 24, of Hinesville, Ga., was killed in the blast, according to his wife, Leah. She did not know the names of the others who were killed.
Officials of the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based division did not immediately return phone calls last night. A Department of Defense spokesman said he could not confirm Doyle's death.
Yesterday, family members recalled Doyle's sense of humor.
"He was definitely a jokester," Leah Doyle said. "He was my angel, and he's always here with me, looking down on me."
Grove told Salisbury's WBOC-TV yesterday that she last spoke with her son three weeks ago. He spoke of wanting to return home and start a family, she said.
She said her son was a handful growing up, but he was lovable.
"He was the class clown," she said. "You know, he didn't like to do his work, but the teachers loved him because he was the class clown."
Doyle was a truck commander who had been in the Army for six years, his family said. He had been in Iraq since January.
"He joined the Army to stay out of trouble -- he was quite the troublemaker as an adolescent," Leah Doyle said. "He always said he would never be better than what he is right now."
His sister, Cammie Doyle, said his death was difficult to accept.
"You keep thinking it's just a dream and you're going to wake up," she told WBOC-TV. "But it never is."
Funeral services were to be held in his hometown of Martinsville, Ind.
"I couldn't be any more proud of him," his mother said.