|From The Daily World thedailyworld.com
Soldier from Hoquiam dies in Iraq
By Anne Radford - Daily World Writer
Saturday, June 16, 2007 12:27 AM PDT
A Hoquiam soldier has died while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Pfc. Casey S. Carriker, 20, died June 13 in Kirkuk, Iraq, from injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident, the Department of Defense announced Friday.
His death is under investigation by Army personnel on the scene, said John Reese, a spokesman for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division based in Hawaii.
“We’ll have more information as they continue to release more details,” he said.
Carriker was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Carriker’s father was with family and friends Friday evening.
Brock Maxfield, the Hoquiam High School vice principal, recalls that Carriker always had a book with him as he walked through the halls at school — be it a novel or a book on philosophy.
“He was a good kid,” he said. “He was always reading. He was smart.”
He said Carriker, who moved to Hoquiam during high school, often talked about joining the military when he graduated, possibly in the field of intelligence. “He was excited about it,” Maxfield said. “He wanted to go into special forces. He really wanted to learn other languages.”
Carriker, who excelled in welding at school, came back to visit the school after he joined the Army. Maxfield said there was quite a contrast between the long hair he sported in high school — one day, he even dressed up as Jesus — and his new, short military haircut.
He said he got the sense that Carriker mirrored the other students who come back from the military, acting more mature and serious.
“He was a very intelligent type of kid that liked to always question things,” the vice principal said.
Staff at Hoquiam High School were told about Carriker’s death Friday afternoon after a family member visited the school, but they did not announce the news to the students, Maxfield said. “It’s definitely a sad scenario,” Maxfield said. “He probably died doing something he felt maybe was his duty and thought the cause was noble.”