Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Army Cpl. James M. Hale

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. James M. Hale, 23, of Naperville, Ill.

Cpl. Hale was assigned to the 978th Military Police Company, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Aug. 13, 2008 in Baghdad of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Fort Bliss soldier dies in Iraq
GI's life 'was just barely beginning'
Loved ones prepare for soldier's funeral
By James Kimberly | Chicago Tribune reporter

About the only thing that could compete with Army Cpl. James Hale's sense of service to his country was his love for his family, his widow said as she prepared for his funeral service this week.

Hale, 23, was one of two men honored in Naperville on Friday after they were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hale died Aug. 13 while on patrol with the 978th Military Police Company, 93rd Military Police Battalion in Baghdad, when the vehicle in which he was riding was struck by a roadside bomb. Hale was honored Friday in Naperville along with Marine Cpl. Tony Mihalo, 23, who was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in Sangin, Afghanistan.

It was Hale's second tour of Iraq, and although he was aware of the dangers, he was excited to go, said his wife, Jessica.

"He felt like it was his time to go back," she said Monday.

Although the Army listed Hale's hometown as Naperville and the city honored his death with a memorial service, Hale did not spend a lot of time in the city. He moved to Naperville in 2000 and for three years attended Naperville Central High School, where he played football and wrestled.

Retired wrestling coach Benny Kenyon remembered Hale's strength and athleticism.

"He was determined. He made a real good effort at what he was doing," Kenyon said. "He was a good teammate."

Hale and his family moved to Columbus, Ohio, and he graduated from Franklin Heights High School. Hale talked of serving in the military while in high school, Jessica Hale said.

"He takes the military very seriously. He was the type of person [who] believed in doing the right thing," Jessica Hale said.

Hale enlisted in the Army in June 2003.

Hale also is survived by three children, Jaden, 4, Jesse, 3, and Jordyn, born two weeks after Hale's second deployment to Iraq on June 26.

"That's the worst part. [Hale] was so young. He was too young. His life was just barely beginning," Jessica Hale said. "I'm mad at the world for that."

A funeral service is planned for Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel in Maywood. Plans for services have not been finalized.

Funeral services for Mihalo also have not been finalized.

Army Cpl. James M. Hale was killed in action on 8/13/08.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James was the most wonderful person the world had ever known. A true loss was suffered that day, and most of us do not even know it. I will miss you James. I love you with all of my heart, and I will pray for our boys and girls to come home safely everyday of my life, until this worthless war is at an end.