NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Karen Gould knew the news was bad when two Marine officers visited the beauty salon where she works Friday morning.
"I looked at them and I looked at my boss and I just kind of went sick," said Gould, who was told her son, Staff Sgt. Dustin Michael Gould, a bomb technician, had been killed in Iraq. "He was disarming (a bomb) to save his whole platoon, and he took the fall for it. So he saved the others."
Gould, 28, was scheduled to return home in April. Recently, his half-brother, who was in the Army, was killed by a sniper in Iraq.
Gould told his mother that military casualty officers would break the news in person.
"He was very proud of it (but) he was sick of the way things were," she said.
The military has not confirmed Dustin Gould's death.
Gould leaves behind a wife of eight years, Elizabeth, who lives in California; his father, David Gould, of Georgia, and a sister, Bethany White, 31, of Van Buren, Ark.
"He was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person. I would have never, ever, believed in him going overseas, being a Marine," Karen Gould said, calling her son a "good leader" who never whined or gave anyone trouble. She said he was an animal lover, and someone who would give the shirt off his back to others.
Dustin Gould was native of Norman and attended elementary school there. He graduated from high school in Colorado, where he enlisted in the Marines.
Services are pending.