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Layton soldier who was killed in Iraq is remembered at memorial service
LAYTON -- He could have been a minister, a poet or a personal trainer. But when war broke out in Iraq, David Goldberg wanted to be a soldier.
Friends and family remembered Goldberg as a "tough guy and a Renaissance man" at a memorial service Saturday.
Goldberg, 20, of Layton, died Nov. 26 in Qayyarah, Iraq, from what military sources described as a "non-hostile" gunshot wound to the chest that is under investigation.
Earlier this year, Goldberg, who had left the U.S. Army Reserve on a medical discharge, rejoined the service out of a "sense of duty," said Lt. Col. Michael Byrne.
As a member of C Company in the 52nd Engineer Combat Battalion, Goldberg "worked around the clock" restoring water and power and rebuilt soccer fields in a war-torn province near Mozul. Byrne, who came from Ft. Carlson, Colo. to attend the funeral, told about what the soldier's life was in Iraq.
The soldiers, he said, took great pride and worked diligently to "make a better life and bring joy" to the many people devastated by war and years of oppression.
The Rev. Chuck Goldberg said the family had learned of their son's death in a newspaper article and "on some levels have yet to comprehend it." The elder Goldberg recalled his son as a "deep thinker" whose outlets were writing poetry and body building.
"When he was serving the Lord, he was a wonderful person, and when he wasn't, he was a handful," said his father, eliciting a chuckle from the audience.
Kevin Goldberg recounted his older brother in a video set to the music of Sting, Green Day and other artists whose poetic lyrics Goldberg admired. His father said the family had taken comfort in a phone call they received 10 days before his death in which he spoke to his mother about "being right with God."
Army officials awarded Goldberg the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star at his burial service in Salt Lake City on Friday.