Sgt. James A. Ayube II, 25, will be laid to rest Saturday in Salem.
He was killed in action by a suicide bomber on Dec. 8 while serving as an Army combat medic in Afghanistan.
Visiting hours are scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. at Full-Spychalski Funeral Home. During a ceremony at visitation hours, he will be honored with numerous awards including the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal and Combat Medical Badge.
Sgt. Ayube was assigned to the Third Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment based out of Vilseck, Germany.
In a letter to Salem Patch, Sgt. Ayube's wife, Lauren Ayube, shared thoughts on her husband, a man she will remember for "his smiling face, his mischievous nature and…fanatical devotion to [her] happiness and well-being."
Lauren called James "the love of my life, my best friend and...the man I wish could have fathered my children."
"One of the things that amazed me the most about him was his constant willingness to go above and beyond in pretty much every way, to ensure my happiness," she wrote. "I always wonder how I became so lucky as to deserve that kind of love."
Lauren said James would always think of her even if it was to make sure she had a drink, "even if that meant walking across Post in the middle of German winter. Come hell or high snow piles, he was going to make sure I had it," Lauren wrote.
Lauren said Salem residents can best honor her husband in their everyday lives by engaging "in pursuits that will better one's self or…develop a skill set. James was in constant pursuit of knowledge, always reading all kinds of books," Lauren wrote.
"The best way to honor James would be to always enjoy your life, help one another and be as unselfish with your love as possible."
Ayube was a 2003 graduate of Salem High School and attended Bunker Hill Community College in Boston before he enlisted in June 2007.
In addition to Lauren, James leaves behind his parents, siblings and many more family members and friends.
Contributions may be made in James honor to Yankee Clipper Council Boy Scouts of America (www.yccbsa.org), 36 Amesbury Rd., Haverhill, MA 01830-2802. Contributions may also be made to Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850-5168 also available at www.fisherhouse.org.