Army Pfc. Travis W. Buford

The mother of a 23-year-old soldier killed in Iraq said her son was an opinionated man who signed up for the Army because the war compelled him to take action.

Army Pfc. Travis W. Buford deployed to Iraq in October, about a year after enlisting in the service along with a cousin, said his mother Janet Buford.

The native of Douglass, a small East Texas town, died Friday of injuries suffered a day earlier when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Ramadi, military officials said.

Buford was killed along with two other soldiers also stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.: Staff Sgt. Joshua R. Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colo., and Pfc. Rowan D. Walter, 25, of Winnetka, Calif.

Janet Buford said her son was an industrious young man who showed up for work on time, even if it was bad job that he didn’t like. She said her son enjoyed spending time outdoors and golfing with his father, Anthony Buford of New Braunfels.

Travis Buford had not always wanted to be a soldier, but he couldn’t get the Iraq war out of his mind, she said.

“It bothered him severely,” Janet Buford said. “He and his cousin decided they had to take action.”

She said he moved to Galveston as he prepared for the military.

“He was excited to go. He wanted to make sure that those people who caused 9/11 and those who want to kill Americans don’t get the chance to come over here,” Janet Buford said. “He wanted to do what was right.”

Janet Buford said she wrote her son daily letters over the course of his five months in Iraq.

“Last time I talked to him, I asked him if he wanted me to stop,” she said. “He said, ‘Oh God no, Mama. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you wrote three times a day.'”

Janet Buford said she was thankful she’d taken the time to write the letters.

“I’m glad they brought him some joy,” she said.