WNY Soldier Killed by Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan

September 27, 2012 Updated Sep 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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September 27, 2012 Updated Sep 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM EDT

FREDONIA, NY (WKBW) - Army Sgt. Jonathan Gollnitz was in Afghanistan for just a month when he called home to warn his family.

"He just said, 'my number might be coming up.' He said, 'they're getting killed left and right over here,'" said Minnie Gollnitz, Jonathan's grandmother.

With that one phone call, the Fredonia family knew Gollnitz was preparing them for the worst.

"I said, 'Johnny, don't say that.' And he didn't want me to worry. But ... I still worried," she said.

The 28-year-old enlisted in the Navy right out of high school. Six years later, he signed up for the Army and served two six-month tours in Iraq before he was sent off for his first deployment in Afghanistan.

"He loved his country. He wanted to protect. He was such a wonderful young man," said Gollnitz's aunt, Laurie Eimers.

Gollnitz is survived by a wife and four-year-old son who live in Washington State. They are in Dover, Delaware on Thursday with Gollnitz's parents to recover his body to bring it back to Western New York.

Funeral arrangements are pending. A community memorial service will be held sometime next week in Fredonia, the family said.