Saturday, March 19, 2011

Army Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, of Bucyrus, Ohio

Cpl Mickler was assigned to 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died March 19, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained with small-arms fire.

Mickler, described by family members as a “true warrior,” worked in communications according to family. He leaves behind a 3-year-old son who lives in Germany with his mother.

Mickler, who was serving his third enlistment in the Army and had previously served in Iraq, was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany.

Great-uncle Roy Hollis said Mickler had always seen the Army as a way of getting out of Dayton and fulfilling his life goals.

“He realized his parents couldn’t send him to college, so the military was a good option for him,” Hollis said. “He very easily could have been a casualty of the streets, but he was determined not to be caught in Dayton.”

Hollis said Mickler started training for the military in high school and excelled as an athlete, participating in track, football and wrestling at the varsity level. He was the wrestling team captain his senior year at Trotwood-Madison. “He was a leader,” Hollis said.

Uncle Sylvester Mickler said as the oldest boy in a big family, Mickler was a role model to his younger siblings. “He loved his family, his sisters and his brothers,” he said. The family kept in touch every day via social networking.

The family expected Mickler home for a family reunion in June, which according to Sylvester Mickler, the 29-year-old was really looking forward to.

Sylvester Mickler said he was proud to see his nephew excelling in the military when he visited him in Germany a few years ago.

“He took the younger soldiers under his wing. It was really good to see him prospering,” he said.

The family said it has been hard to mourn their loss knowing that Mickler’s death may not have come at the hands of the enemy, but a fellow solider. “It’s unfortunate for everyone. The family is grieving,” Hollis said. But he said he is consoled knowing that Mickler loved serving his country and knew the risk he was taking. “He was doing what he wanted to be doing,” he said.

Army Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. was killed in action on 3/19/11.

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