Staff Sergeant Brian Craig

While serving in Afghanistan, Army Staff Sergeant Brian Craig would call his family at least once a week, and sometimes more often if there were reports of American casualties.

“For the last couple months, the phone would ring early Saturday morning,” said Barbara Craig, his mother. “He couldn’t tell us where he was or exactly what he was doing. But he would check in just to say ‘I am fine.’ “

When Arthur and Barbara Craig of Houston heard that four U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in Kandahar as they dismantled confiscated rockets, they worried. Soon their fears were confirmed.

Barbara Craig was home alone on Monday when an Army car pulled up to the Craig residence in north Harris County and two military men got out.

She was just returning from taking her husband to the airport for a missionary trip to the Ukraine.

“I had just gotten home and there they were,” Barbara Craig said, bracing at the pain of receiving the news alone.

She called her husband, Arthur, and said their youngest son was among the dead. He returned home.

“He laid down his life not only for his friends, but for people he didn’t even know, the Afghan people,” said Arthur Craig, pastor of the Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church in Spring Branch.

“Rather than using weapons of destruction, he was over there cleaning up the munitions left by past and present war. By doing that we are certain he saved the lives of many people – men, women and children,” Craig told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday.