An Army staff sergeant described as a young man full of dreams was killed Monday during a gun battle in Afghanistan.
Larry Ismael Rougle, 25, was on his third tour there when he was killed Monday afternoon.
"My Larry was always pretty happy. He smiled, he was just the greatest," said the soldier's mother, Nancy Rougle, in a telephone interview from her West Valley home.
When the news of his death came Tuesday, she said, "it felt like my life ended, like part of me died."
Larry Rougle graduated early from Granite High School at 17 and had been in the U.S. Army for seven years, serving in Iraq for the first time in 2001 on a six-month tour. He served another eight months in Iraq in 2002-2003 and was on his third tour in Afghanistan when he was killed. In March, he had planned to return for a mid-tour leave for his father's birthday, his brother's wedding and to take his 3-year-old daughter, Carmin, to Disneyland.
The girl was "the love of his life," said Rougle's aunt, Char Rodriguez of Kearns.
Rougle, who was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was described by his aunt as overly intelligent and a politics junkie who loved to read the stock market quotes even as a child.
"He was a very proud soldier and loved what he did," Rodriguez said. "His main purpose in serving was to do what he thought was right for poor people of a war-torn country. He was a young man full of dreams that have now come to a stop."
Those dreams took their inspiration in the actions of Rougle's father, Ismael Rougle, who served in the Army.
A press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the U.S. Army said Monday's death happened while Rougle's unit was conducting combat operations in support of Operate Rock Avalanche in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. The unit received small arms fire from a five-to-10 man enemy "element.""He knew what he was doing was right, protecting his country," said his mother.