Michael J Metcalf
Boynton Beach, Florida
April 22, 2012
Killed in Paktia, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
|PFC Michael J. Metcalf
PFC Michael Joseph Metcalf, 22, died Sunday, April 22, 2012, while serving his country in the U.S. Army. He was born May 15, 1989, in Coral Springs, Florida, the son of Ceejay Metcalf and Kimberly (Faustine) Metcalf. Michael was a resident of Boynton Beach, Florida, but spent a lot of time in Ashtabula visiting his family. He graduated from St. John's Northwestern Military Academy Delafield, Wis. in 2008. PFC Metcalf was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. He joined the Army March 8, 2011, but had been in Afghanistan for the past two weeks. Michael played baseball, football, and hockey in high school. After high school he discovered bull riding and tattoos. He loved them the most, but he also loved truck mudding, playing pool, and just going out with friends and meeting new people. He was a free spirited person who you only needed to know a minute, but would leave you feeling like you have been a lifelong friend. Michael is survived by his father, Ceejay Metcalf (Donna Ewing) of Ashtabula; mother, Kimberly Metcalf of Boynton, Fla.; paternal grandmother, Louise Santiago of Ashtabula; paternal grandfather, Clarence Metcalf of Ashtabula; maternal grandmother, Ann Faustine of Boynton Beach, Fla.; uncles, Anthony Metcalf of Ashtabula and Joseph (Mary) Faustine of Maui, Hawaii, and Richard Faustine of Florida; aunts, Sandra (Joe) Bennett and Patti Metcalf of Columbus; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Joseph Faustine. Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 11, 2012, from 4-8 p.m. at the Zaback-Ducro Funeral Home, 500 W. Prospect Rd., Ashtabula, Ohio. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Gateway Church, 2300 Austinburg Rd., Austinburg, with Rev. Robert Leonard, pastor of the Hungarian Evangelical Reformed Church officiating. Those unable to attend the funeral service may watch it via webcast through a link at www.ducro.com or at www.ducrowebcast.com. It should be available within 24 hours after the service is complete. Interment will be Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Memorial contributions may be made in c/o the funeral home to the Ashtabula County United War Veterans or to Veterans Memorial Park. Zaback-Ducro Funeral Home, 500 West Prospect Road, Ashtabula, is handling arrangements. www.ducro.com.
Published in the Erie Times-News on May 7, 2012
|From CBS 12 News cbs12.com
PFC Michael Metcalf's mom speaks to CBS12
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- A young soldier from Boynton Beach is being remembered after he died in combat in Afghanistan.
He was just 22, but his mother says he loved serving his country.
Metcalf was a student at Park Vista High School in Boynton Beach before
he left for a military academy. He attended ninth grade and left
during his sophomore year.
He was a freshman when Park Vista opened back in '04.
1st Class Metcalf had only been in Afghanistan for about a month. He
joined the Army just over a year ago after graduating from a military
academy in Wisconsin.
1st Lt. Jonathan P. Walsh, 28, Cobb, Ga., also died in the blast.
Department of Defense confirmed on Tuesday that they died April 22 in
Paktia, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device.
The soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry, 1st
Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Metcalf, Michael's mother, says she found out about her son's death
Monday when she got a knock on her door from servicemen informing her.
She says he was driving a vehicle to check on another vehicle that had driven over an explosive when he drove over one himself.
She she can't believe he is gone.
"He was wonderful ... a kind, kind kid. He was a happy, happy guy ... He was great."
She says she doesn't know how many others were in the truck with him. She says he loved serving his country.
She says she never worried about Mike being over there, despite the threats.
She plans to fly to Dover, Del., today to be there when his body is returned to the United States.
Funeral services have not been set at this time.
|From The Palm Beach Post palmbeachpost.com 05/05/12:
Boynton Beach soldier remembered as 'American hero'
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Before deployment to Afghanistan, U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Metcalf had to choose the person he wanted to be the escort at his funeral.
Capt. Grant Barge, who is from the Boynton Beach area and served in Iraq, received a text message from Metcalf asking if Barge would be willing to serve.
"It is an absolute honor to be standing here with you today," Barge said Saturday afternoon at the First Baptist Church while looking down at the American flag-draped coffin holding Metcalf's body.
Barge told more than 500 family members, friends, servicemen and women and people who came to show their support that he watched Metcalf grow from a 15-year-old "ambitious kid" to a 22-year-old "American hero."
Metcalf, of Boynton Beach, was killed April 22 in Patkia, Afghanistan when he drove over a roadside bomb while trying to rescue comrades who had just done the same. His body was flown home last Wednesday.
About 20 Patriot Riders lined the back of the church holding American Flags and about a dozen wreaths and floral arrangements decorated the alter. A photo montage retold Metcalf's life from the time he was growing in his mother's belly to standing alert and proud in his full uniform.
For people who didn't know Metcalf, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, the almost two-hour service let them into the soldier's short life.
Becky Coon, of Boynton Beach, attended to show "military support". Her 25-year-old son has served in the Army for three years.
Norma Alexander, also of Boynton Beach, came for the same reason.
"My soul felt compelled to come and just give respect as a grateful citizen," she said.
Metcalf's friend Cory Hueston began the service by singing a song he wrote for the fallen soldier after he was told of his passing. As he strummed his guitar, Hueston left listeners at times teary-eyed with lyrics including: "You knew just how to bring us together, just how to make it better. Your heart is still around."
And at times he made them laugh with lyrics about Metcalf giving Hueston a tattoo: "It didn't come out good." But that's OK, he said, it's "my memory."
More friends of Metcalf's –– Brandon O'Keefe, T.J. Fitzgerald and Lisa Adair –– spoke of how they'll miss the bull-riding man known as "Cowboy."
"Knowing my best friend is gone and not coming back, that hurts," O'Keefe said.
Fitzgerald said Metcalf, his friend of 13 years, was like a "brother" to him.
He shared a memory of when Metcalf told Fitzgerald he couldn't wait for the day when each of them married. They'd live next door to each other, their kids would play together and they would sit and watch as their kids "learned the same hard lessons we did."
U.S. Army Gen. John W. Baker, said he never met Metcalf but shared what he knew.
He was told that the soldiers in his unit called him "Cowboy" and teased him about being the only Floridian they knew who was a "full-fledged bull-riding star."
He was so good at what he did, that platoon leader 1st Lt. Jonathan Walsh, who died with Metcalf, picked him to drive their vehicle. That job is given to the "best soldier in the unit," Baker said.
"Your son was the center of the platoon," he told Metcalf's mother, Kim. "He defined the standard that we all aspire to as soldiers."
Kim Metcalf was presented with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star awarded to her son.
After the playing of Taps, six soldiers meticulously folded the flag draped on Metcalf's coffin into a triangle. Baker kneeled down and handed the flag to Kim Metcalf.
The fallen soldier will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on May 17.
|From The Sun Sentinel sun-sentinal.com 05/04/12
Friends, family remember fallen Boynton soldier
Metcalf honored at viewing in Boca Raton
May 4, 2012|By Ben Wolford, Sun Sentinel
BOCA RATON — Army Pfc. Michael J. Metcalf was respected for his bull-riding bravado and loved for his kindness, said friends and family who saw the Boynton Beach soldier, 22, for the last time Friday.
Metcalf was killed on April 22 in Afghanistan.
At the viewing at a funeral home in Boca Raton, droves of mourners, uniformed well-wishers and a congressman approached Metcalf's open, flag-draped coffin. They watched photos flick past on screens: him playing hockey, riding a horse; flexing with his torso blanketed with tattoos.
One said "Nana," for the grandmother he adored.
CeeJay Metcalf bought his son his first tattoo, a reward for waiting until after graduation, like he asked him to.
"That's how my boy was," he said. "He respected me."
Michael Metcalf's compassion as a precocious youth never faded even as he became tattooed and imposing, a bull rider and an Army soldier, friends and family said. He was kind like his mother and gruff like his father, CeeJay Metcalf said of his only son.
"I'm very fortunate about Michael and his friendship and his personality," CeeJay Metcalf said.
At 9, Metcalf joined the Young Marines in Palm Beach County where, in awe, he once shook a uniformed Vietnam veteran's hand. Metcalf wanted to join the military from a young age and spent his last years of high school at a prestigious military academy in Wisconsin.
He spread his energy around by skim boarding and riding horses. During a year living in Ohio with his father, Metcalf took to bull riding.
"If it wasn't for the Army, I'd be doing this professionally," Michael Metcalf told his father.
But Metcalf began his first tour in Afghanistan on March 22. One month later, he died when the Hummer he was driving struck an improvised explosive device. On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott ordered Boynton Beach and Palm Beach County flags lowered to half staff.
Mike Hietter, a friend from Lantana, said Metcalf was going to get him into bull riding. Hietter hesitated; the rodeo is dangerous. But he said Metcalf didn't seem worried about it.
"He wouldn't flinch," he said.
The stoic soldier, as a boy, was much softer. He once rescued a cat from the rain, despite cautions from his mother's friend and baby sitter. He should ask his mother before he brings a wet animal inside, the baby sitter, Kathy Kearney, told him.
"Somehow the cat got in the house!" Metcalf called out, she said. "Somehow he also got into Michael's bedroom and closed and locked the door."
When Metcalf was 12, his godmother, Sharleen Stewart, offered to take him and her niece to an arcade or a skating rink. But her young niece had a bad leg and a limp. She declined.
Later, Metcalf discovered she was embarrassed.
"I would have picked her up and carried her," Stewart recalled him saying. "And if anyone said anything to her I'd have bopped them on the head."
"That's the kind of heart he had," Stewart said.
A public funeral is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at First Boynton Baptist Church at 301 N. Seacrest Blvd. Metcalf will be buried May 17 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
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