Our collective sympathies are extended to the family of Sgt. Christopher David Loza. From the Abilene Reporter News:

When you ask Amelia Gonzales to remember her son Sgt. Christopher David Loza, who died Friday from an unidentified illness, a flood of memories emerges.

She recalls him easily as a boy, his ruminations about becoming a firefighter or a police officer, his love of softball and baseball, something he carried from the age of 4 to his teens.

She remembers a person who held his Catholic faith close, a lover of the Abilene High Eagles, the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys, and a man who was a loving husband to his wife, Kristena Loza, and father to his 3-year-old daughter Iliana.

He never wanted for friends, she said. And he also was someone willing to work hard, earning an associate degree in criminal justice and working diligently to provide for his family.

His last job before deploying to Iraq as an Army reservist in November was at Suddenlink Communications in San Angelo, where he had earned his degree from Howard College and where his wife attends Angelo State University.

Visit the Reporter News online to read the entire tribute to Sgt. Loza.