ARLINGTON, Texas - Friends and family are remembering an Arlington soldier who was killed while serving in Iraq.
Army specialist Allen Stigler Jr. died Sunday. The Pentagon says an "artillery mishap" caused his death and the death of another soldier. Friends of the 22-year-old are calling him their hero.
The incident is still under investigation as people in Arlington mourn the loss of their own, a soldier who followed in his grandfather and great grandfather's footsteps by serving our country.
Sgt. Allen Stigler Jr. was the baby of his family. But even from his Army station in Iraq, he was always checking in on his loved ones in Arlington.
"We'd worry about him,” said Faith Moore, his sister. “But he was like, ‘Nah. As long as y'all are okay, I'm okay.’"
Two of Stigler's four older sisters and his grandmother say he served God, his family and — upon graduation from Timberview High School in 2013 — decided to join the Army to serve his country.
"He said great grand-daddy served in Vietnam and came home. I said yes he did,” recalled Valerie Carter, his grandmother. “So what could I say? Even though I wanted to scream and cry, I couldn't. I just said okay baby, okay."
The Pentagon says Stigler was one of two U.S. soldiers fighting ISIS Sunday in Iraq when he was killed during a U.S. artillery mishap. Five others were injured. The incident is under investigation.
His family says he spoke about the possibility of being killed overseas.
"If it does happen, stay strong for me,” Moore recalled Stigler telling them. “Keep your head up and don't be so down about it."
Stigler's hometown friend, Desmon Rose, already got a tattoo for the friend who's now his angel.
"I've always told him I was proud of him because it takes a lot to go to the military and do that,” she said.
The family also expressed their condolences for the family of Sgt. Roshain Brooks of Brooklyn, New York. He was the other soldier killed in the incident. They were both cannon crew members with the 82nd airborne division.