August 15, 2004 6:00 AM

Marine embraced military life, but also `loved to have fun'

Diane Layfield remembers dancing with her son Travis last year at a Brooks & Dunn concert on top of a grassy hill under the stars. She thinks to herself how lucky she was that her teenager chose his mother as his date. She clings to that memory. She spends free time filling boxes in her living room with photos, letters, articles, anything at all that connects her to her Travi. Lance Cpl. Travis Layfield was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. His family said hed been promoted to radio operator and was the first one out of the Humvee during the mission in which he was killed on April 6. He was 19. Travis Layfield had two sides. He was a Rambo-style Marine who loved monster trucks and weapons and wanted to kick butt in Iraq. He was also a sweet romantic who took a girlfriend a rose on their first date.

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