OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Funeral services have been set for Wednesday for a Marlow-Duncan soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.
Lt. Col. Daniel E. Holland, an Oklahoma State University graduate, was serving as a U.S. Army veterinarian when he was killed on May 18 along with three other soldiers.
Holland, 43, was the youngest of 10 children and a religious man, said his sister, Pat Nixon, of Oklahoma City.
He left behind a wife, Sheryl, and two children, Rachel, 13, and Garrett, 10, who live in Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio.
Nixon said her brother had only been in Iraq for three weeks.
"It's just still so unreal," she said.
Military life was familiar to Holland. His father spent his 30-year Army career in various places and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1975. The family finally settled in the Marlow-Duncan area, where Holland attended Marlow High School and raised sheep.
Holland later joined Future Farmers of America and worked part-time for a veterinarian, which influenced Holland's career path, Nixon said.
He earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine at OSU in 1988, and followed two of his older brothers into the Army.
As an Army veterinarian, Holland and his family traveled the world. They lived in Germany, and he served tours in Bosnia and Haiti. Many of his missions were humanitarian-- including his tour in Iraq, Nixon said.
When the call came to go to Iraq, Nixon said her brother didn't hesitate. He had a nephew, also named Daniel Holland, who recently returned after serving in Iraq.
"Like all soldiers, he did not want to be away from his family, but he knew it was his job, and he always did his job to the very best of his ability," Nixon said. "He was a true American patriot, and if that's where the president and commander in chief said to go, he was going to go."
Holland was sociable and fun, Nixon said. He was good at working with his hands , but not very good at singing his favorite country tunes, Nixon remembers.
Both of his children inherited his love for animals. Nixon said they're now raising goats and turkeys.
"Every time he'd leave, he'd say: Glad you got to see me. That was his trademark line, and we'd always laugh," Nixon said. "He did everything with gusto and lived life to the fullest. He spent as much time as he could with his family.
"Everybody just thought the world of Daniel."
Holland will have a funeral Mass at noon Wednesday at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels, Texas. He will be buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.