Staff Sgt. Jeremy W. Doyle, 24, who joined the Army to keep out of trouble and used to call Iraq the "largest litter box in the world," didn't want to go back for his second tour.
"He knew that was what he raised his hand for and that was what he was good at. . . . He loved his Joes" said his wife, Leah Doyle, 20. Life as a cavalry scout was dangerous, but he used to say it was "the most 'huah' job in the Army."
On Aug. 18, the former Indianapolis resident who moved to Pocomoke City, Md., as a teenager, was killed outside of Samarra, Iraq, when the blast from a bomb hit his Humvee. He died with three other soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division while returning from a mine-assessing mission, said Maj. Elizabeth Robbins, an army spokeswoman.
Yesterday, at his home in Hinesville, Ga., relatives remembered Doyle as a jokester with a cutting sense of humor and a keen taste for sarcasm.
"He was very cocky and self-assured. You had to have a quick tongue around him," said Leah Doyle. "He was always doing something to make you laugh. If you were embarrassed, he would do something to embarrass himself."
Leah and Jeremy Doyle met when they were kids. "He told me when I was 13 that we were going to get married one day. He just told me, and I followed along."
They were high school sweethearts, until Doyle's parents split up during his junior year in high school and he went to live with his mother in Maryland.
Doyle joined the Army in August 1999 and was sent to Germany. On a visit to the States, he met up with Leah and the two began dating again. They married in October 2003 in a luau ceremony on Tybee Island, off the coast of Georgia, just two months after he returned from his first tour of Iraq. The couple planned to start a family after his second tour ended in January.
"He was so proud of himself, though he wouldn't admit it. All of his family members were proud of him. . . . He went from a troubled teenager to a staff sergeant in only six years," Leah Doyle said. "I have no idea what I'm going to do. He was my whole life. He was my everything."
Jeremy W. Doyle