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Family mourns Layton resident
Grief made it nearly impossible for Marcia Fenster to find the words that would best describe her son, Timothy Weiner, who died Sunday in Iraq along with two other Hill Air Force Base airmen.
"Look in the dictionary and find all the glowing adjectives you can," she said Tuesday in tears.
Air Force Sgt. Timothy Weiner, 35, was the youngest of four brothers who joined the military, and he was the first one to die in war. He was killed Sunday while trying to disarm explosives in a vehicle along with two fellow airmen. The explosives blew, killing Weiner and airmen Elizabeth Loncki of New Castle, Del., and Daniel Miller of Galesburg, Ill.
Weiner, an 18-year veteran from Tamarack, Fla., was stationed at Hill Air Force Base and lived in Layton with his wife, Debbie, and teenage son Jonathan.
"The Air Force has lost the finest young man that has ever worn their uniform," Fenster said from her home in Florida.
She described her youngest son as an unbelievable father and husband who could "do a job that was so rough and so demanding and horrible, but was also a man who could show love and was not afraid to."
Weiner was to have finished his second tour of duty and return to the United States at the end of January, Fenster said.
Weiner's brother, retired Army Master Sgt. Eric Weiner, of Colorado, said he was proud of Timothy. He said his brother loved the technical aspect of his job and the camaraderie with the other airmen. He was planning to retire from the military in two years.
"He was conducting duties, he was doing his job saving lives," Eric Weiner said. "It's easier to handle his death knowing that. . . . To me, it was not a meaningless death."
Timothy Weiner joined the military following in the footsteps of his brothers Eric, Kevin and Robbie Weiner. Eric Weiner thought his brother chose the Air Force because he grew in the 1980s during the " 'Top Gun' age."
Since his brother's death, Eric Weiner has talked on the phone with Debbie every day. He said she is being looked after by friends and the Air Force and is holding up extremely well.
"She's doing much better than I thought she would," he said. "Of course she's upset and extremely distraught. I'm sure it hasn't really hit [Jonathan] yet, but he's hanging in there."
Fenster last spoke with her son on Dec. 28. They talked about Saddam Hussein's then-pending execution and Weiner's scheduled travels to some dangerous areas in Iraq.
"He said he knew this is not what I wanted to hear," Fenster said. "He said, 'Mom, I am going someplace where I can do my job.' "
Fenster said she knew her son believed in what he was doing, but she still has a lot of questions "about what our kids are being sent out to do."
"I just want my baby back and I want answers," she said.