Saturday, June 11, 2011

Army Capt. Michael W. Newton

Remember Our Heroes

Army Capt. Michael W. Newton, 30, of Newport News, Va.

Capt Newton was assigned to 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Baumholder, Germany, died June 11, 2011 in Faryab province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered in a non-combat incident.

Captain Michael W. Newton was working on an assignment in the Faryab province of Afghanistan on June 11th. The Department of Defense announced that Captain Newton died from injuries suffered in a non-combat-related matter. They did not release further details.

Capt Newton graduated in 1999 from Denbigh High, where he played saxophone in the band. He received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Virginia Military Institute. He was a member of the VMI men’s rifle team and the Virginia History Society. He served as executive officer of the 2nd Battalion of the VMI Corps of Cadets. He was a graduate of the Class of 2003.

Capt Newton joined the Army in July 2004. He was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and again in 2009. He had also served in South Korea. He deployed to Afghanistan in February. He was a battery commander, fluent in Spanish and French, and he was finishing a master's degree in international relations through the University of Oklahoma.

Mother, Barbara, said her son, "wanted to be a soldier since he was 4 years old," his mother. She and her husband last saw their son at Christmas.

"I can't even begin to express the grief we're feeling right now," father, Willie said.

Reverend James Cornish, from Michael’s hometown, said, "When you watched him, you knew he had a determination. Whatever he was going to, he was going to be good at it. He was one of those children who said "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" at an early age."

Because of the area he lived in growing up, Newton was surrounded by so many retired and active-duty military, it seemed as if his life's course was set early on. "It seemed like he had one eye on them and one eye on his future," Cornish said. "He literally loved the military. We knew that was his destination."

Cornish said Newton's comments about the military were always positive and Cornish always believed Newton would have a highly successful career. "We're sad at this time, because now we're not going to see that great end."

In Capt Newton's recent posts on Facebook, he joked about missing his car and his TV. He frequently shared inspirational quotations on his page. The day before his death, he posted the following quotation, attributed to no one: "A coward gets scared and quits. A hero gets scared but still goes on."

"He was always trying to get people to think, always trying to raise the level of the conversation," recalled Brandon Stanley, friends with Newton in high school. "He was just really smart and really compassionate. He definitely wasn't a spotlight kind of guy, but he had a way of drawing people to him."

Capt Newton is survived by his parents, Willie and Barbara Newton, of Newport News, and his sister, Kelly.

Army Capt. Michael W. Newton died in Afghanistan on 6/11/11.

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