Va. Soldier, 'an Amazing Man,' Is Killed in Attack in Iraq
Sunday, January 1, 2006
George A. Lutz II was raised to be a Redskins fan. Watching the games on television and talking them over was a family tradition. Last Saturday, he caught the victory over the Giants on TV -- in Iraq. Afterward, he called home to Virginia, his dad recalled last night.
"He was so excited," George A. Lutz said of his son. "He was so proud and so excited."
That was the last time the father, who lives in Chesapeake, heard his son's voice.
Army Pfc. George Anthony Lutz II, 25, who was known as Tony, died in Fallujah on Thursday when his patrol came under small arms fire from enemy forces, the Pentagon said yesterday.
His father said Tony, whom he described as a personable man deft at converting a "bad situation into a funny one," had an Army psychological operations job that seemed to suit his talents: It involved "persuasive communication," not combat so much as persuading the indifferent or potentially hostile adversaries to become allies.
Tony Lutz, who had worked in sales for a time after attending Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., "could persuade anybody into anything," his father said.
"He was an amazing man," George Lutz said. "He was an amazing son and an amazing father."
Tony Lutz was married, with two young children. He loved his family, which includes his mother, Patricia, and he loved his job and wanted to go to Iraq, because he wanted to do what he was trained for, friends and relatives said last night.
While in the Tidewater area a few weeks ago, before being deployed to Iraq, Lutz said that "he was looking forward to using what he had learned," the headmaster of his high school said last night.
At Atlantic Shores Christian School, headmaster Keith Hall said, Lutz was a good student and a very good cross-country runner.
In addition, Hall said, Lutz was active in his church and knew when he left for Iraq that "if anything happened to him, he would be in heaven with his heavenly father."
All students at the school must make a profession of their Christian faith to enter, Hall said, and Tony "made that profession."
The Pentagon said Lutz was in the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group, Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, based at Fort Bragg, N.C.
He was "a great guy," people said. Sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, said his grandmother Teri Lutz of Centreville, he helped rescue two elderly women after hearing voices from a house that had already been searched.
On one of his many phone calls from Iraq, the grandmother said last night, he was asked what he wanted. A blanket, he replied, and a pillow, and candy -- for the Iraqi children.