Maurice Keith Fortune came from a large family with a military tradition that went back to World War I.

Fortune, who listed Forestville as his home town and has relatives in the Washington area, joined the Army a little more than four years ago. He entered the artillery and became a sergeant.

On Friday, in Ramadi, Iraq, a car bomb exploded near the military vehicle in which Sgt. Fortune, 25, was riding. He was killed.

"We all knew him and loved him as family," said one of his uncles last night in a telephone interview.

The uncle, Maurice P. Fortune, lives in New York and served in the military himself. The sergeant was named for him.

He said all the members of the family feel the loss, and "I particularly feel" it.

Maurice Fortune said Sgt. Fortune was the son of his brother, Littleton J. Fortune, who made a career of the Air Force and then retired to live in the Philippines.

In the Fortune family, "all the boys were in the military," Maurice Fortune said. "My grandfather was in the first World War, and we had three uncles in the second World War."

Relatives in the Washington area include four sisters: Demaris Wooten of Laurel, Anita Fortune of Alexandria, Veronica Fortune of Upper Marlboro and Lenore Worthy of Accokeek. A brother, Tyrone Fortune, lives in Upper Marlboro.

According to Anita Fortune, Sgt. Fortune was married and the father of an infant.

Although an Army spokesman said Sgt. Fortune listed Forestville as his home town, his sister said he had come there only briefly before being deployed overseas.

After entering active service in January 2001, Sgt. Fortune was sent for training in the artillery to Fort Sill, Okla. His specialty was guiding and controlling artillery fire.

Formally known as an automated fire control distance specialist, his job was to determine where artillery rounds landed and where the next ones should be aimed.

He was in the 2nd Battalion of the 17th Field Artillery in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Camp Hovey, in Korea. In May, the Army decided to deploy part of the 2nd Battalion to Iraq.