Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, of Delaware was killed in Afghanistan Monday when a he and his troops were struck by a road side bomb.
Slutman leaves behind his wife Shannon and three daughters. The family lives near Wilmington.
"We're trying to distract them and keep them in play, in a normal routine," family friend Deb Buenaga said.
Buenaga said that new normal is full of pain.
"What is normal? When your daddy isn't coming home?" Buenaga said.
Slutman was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. He was honored in 2014 with the Fire Chief's Association Memorial Medal for rescuing an unconscious woman from a burning high rise.
His father Fletcher Slutman Jr. spoke by phone of that day.
"Seeing the smile on his face and everything was really, really neat," Fletcher Slutman Jr. said.
Christopher Slutman is now being honored again.
Black bunting is draped and flags are at half-staff outside Ladder 27 in the Bronx, and at the Kentland Fire Department in Prince George's County Maryland where he also volunteered.
"He embodied true character and what it means to serve your fellow man and fellow American," Firefighter Jonathan Clifford of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department said.
The FDNY-UFA Firefighters Association also released a statement with regard to the tragic loss.
The president of the organization, Gerald Fitzgerald, wrote in part: "Together, all firefighters grieve the loss of our brother, Christopher, who dedicated his life to protecting the people of this city, and our nation."
According to the Department of Defense, 31-year-old Benjamin Hines of York, Pennsylvania was also among those killed.
Both men deployed from Echo Company in Harrisburg.
Cpl. Robert A. Henriks, 25, of Locus Valley, New York was the third Marine killed in the attack.