(Taken from www.nbc-2.com of Dec. 2) CAPE CORAL: A Cape Coral solider was killed in Iraq. But now the circumstances surrounding his death are raising questions.
The Department of Defense says Pfc. Derrick Gwaltney didn't die during combat, and now the Pentagon is looking into how he died.
Family members we spoke to say the 21-year-old joined the military like his grandfathers did - trying to make a better life for his family.
"He told me he was going into basic training and it was heartbreaking," said his wife, Heidi Gwaltney. "He was proud of himself and everybody was proud of him for going over there to serve his country."
Gwaltney was only in Iraq four months. Sunday, his life came to an end.
"I am waiting for that phone call that says this was all a misunderstanding," said Heidi.
According to the DoD, Gwaltney's death was not combat related and is under investigation.
When military personnel notified Heidi on Monday, they told her he died from a gunshot wound. Now, she says she's concerned because he was depressed about being away from home.
She explained how Gwaltney's mother just returned home from identifying her son.
"The fact that she has to bury her son - it's not fair," Heidi said.
Gwaltney and Heidi married only a few months after meeting and says she can't help but laugh when she remembers his smile.
"You could not be depressed in the same room as him," she said.
Kristi Dutra, one of Gwaltney's high school friends, says the military was always a part of his dreams.
"He's got a lot of heart to go to another country and fight for his country," she said.
Now the family is coping with the fact that his two children will grow up with out their father
"We will never be able to get him back, but his memory will always be there," said Heidi.
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.