Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, Pa.

Spc. Hook was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Aug. 22, 2007 in Multaka, Iraq, of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed. Also killed were Capt. Corry P. Tyler, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul J. Flynn, Sgt. Matthew L. Tallman, Spc. Rickey L. Bell, Capt. Derek A. Dobogai, Staff Sgt. Jason L. Paton, Sgt. Garrett I. McLead, Cpl. Jeremy P. Bouffard, Cpl. Phillip J. Brodnick, Cpl. Joshua S. Harmon, Cpl. Nathan C. Hubbard, Spc. Jessy G. Pollard and Spc. Tyler R. Seideman.

Soldier with N.J. ties among 14 killed in Iraq helicopter crash

The Associated Press

ALTOONA, Pa. — A soldier from western Pennsylvania who had ties to New Jersey was among 14 U.S. soldiers killed Aug. 22 when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a nighttime mission in northern Iraq, relatives said.

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, had been in Iraq for almost a year on his first tour, said his father, Larry Hook, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

“He died doing what he wanted to do,” Larry Hook told the Altoona Mirror. “But it’s been pretty devastating.”

After graduating from high school in Altoona in 2001, Hook lived with his father and stepmother, Belinda Hook, in New Jersey and worked doing odd jobs for about a year before returning to Altoona.

His mother, MaryAnn Hook, and his fiancee, Suzie Fetterman, both live in Altoona. Hook was scheduled to return from Iraq in September, and an October wedding was planned.

The Black Hawk was one of two helicopters and had just picked up troops after a mission when it crashed, according to Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a military spokesman in northern Iraq. The four crew and 10 passengers aboard were assigned to Task Force Lightning.

Military authorities said it appeared the aircraft was lost due to mechanical problems and not from hostile fire.

Hook enlisted in the Army about two years ago after working in Altoona for a roofing contractor, his father said.

“He just decided he was going into the Army and I respected that,” Larry Hook said.

“I don’t think he was real interested in going to Iraq ... but I think he was excited about coming home,” said Michael Hook’s grandmother, Winifred Hook of Altoona.

Hook’s unit, the 25th Infantry Division’s combat aviation brigade, was expected to be back at its base in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, by late September, his father said.

Michael Hook was looking forward to coming home because his fiancee is pregnant, his father said.

Hook played football at Altoona Area High School.

“It was his dedication that I remember,” coach Phil Riccio said.

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook was killed in action on 8/22/07.

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