Online July 19, 2006
Psy ops soldier killed in Iraq
By Henry Cuningham
Staff Sgt. Michael A. Dickinson was supposed to be on his last mission in Iraq before coming home at the end of the month when he was killed, his mother said Tuesday.
Dickson, 26, of Battle Creek, Mich., was assigned to the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion of the 4th Psy Ops Group at Fort Bragg.
Dickinson is the fourth soldier from the battalion to die in Iraq. He is the 10th Fort Bragg special operations soldier to die this year in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“He volunteered for this mission,” Vicki Dickinson, his mother, said in a telephone interview from Battle Creek. “He wanted to bring the men home. That was his goal always. He got that accomplished. They are all going to come home but him.”
She was notified Monday that her son died when he was shot by snipers while on patrol with a Marine Corps unit.
“His commanding officer called and said the Marines had great respect for him, his men had respect and he was a leader,” his mother said.
He and his wife, Glorygrace, have a 2-year-old daughter, Abigail, and he has four stepchildren, his mother said.
His mother had come to Fort Bragg for her granddaughter’s birthday party on July 2 when her son called.
“He just happened to call just as we were getting ready to light candles and sing ‘Happy Birthday,’” she said. “He was looking forward to coming home and seeing his wife and baby.”
Dickinson signed up for the Army at age 17 and went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., one week after graduating from high school, she said.
“My son was one of those guys who felt he had to help do whatever needed to be done,” his mother said. “He was very, very military, loved the Army, loved his job. He just shone there.”
His motto was, “Get her done,” she said.
Dickinson had been gone for nine months. The trip to Iraq was his third.
“He had the total military outlook,” she said. “Just keep on going. He was an excellent guy. He believed in his country. He believed in his family. I’m proud of him, and he is my hero.”
Military editor Henry Cuningham can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3585.