Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Michael A Hook

Altoona, Pennsylvania

August 22, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army Spc

2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

 Killed in Multaka, Iraq, when their helicopter crashed.

From New Jersey nj.com 08/28/07:

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook, August 22, 2007
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 6:06 PM Updated: Thursday, November 08, 2007, 2:26 PM
By Beverly M. Reid 
Age: 25

Hometown: Little Egg Harbor

Circumstances: Died from injuries suffered in a helicopter crash in Multaka, Iraq

The Star-Ledger Archive
COPYRIGHT © The Star-Ledger 2007
Date: 2007/08/24

Black Hawk crash is felt across U.S.

Iraq casualties include regular Jersey visitor
By CHERYL WITTENAUER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Onetime New Jersey resident Michael Hook couldn't wait to get back to the States to be with his pregnant fiancee. Ricky Bell was due to fly home in less than a month. Nathan Hubbard came from a family of soldiers that already had lost one son to the war.

The three were among 14 U.S. soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed Wednesday in northern Iraq. The military said it appeared the aircraft was lost due to mechanical problems. There were no survivors.

The 14 came from across the country: California, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington. Some were based in Hawaii, others in Washington state.

The military did not immediately release their names, but family members and friends have offered glimpses into some of their lives.

Hook, an Altoona, Pa., resident who spent his summers at the Jersey Shore, had been in Iraq for almost a year on his first tour, said his father, Larry Hook of Little Egg Harbor. Michael Hook was the 81st service member with ties to New Jersey to be killed in Iraq.

"He died doing what he wanted to do," Larry Hook told the Altoona Mirror in yesterday's editions. "But it's been pretty devastating."

Hook's body was scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware today, which would have been his 26th birthday.

After graduating from high school in Altoona in 2001, Hook went to live with his father and stepmother, Belinda, for over a year in Little Egg Harbor. While in the southern Ocean County township, he did odd jobs, Belinda Hook said.

He returned to Altoona and continued to live with his mother, MaryAnn Hook, but spent summers with his father and stepmother, who have been residents of Little Egg Harbor for 20 years.

After being dispatched to Iraq last August, he returned to Altoona in January for a two-week leave, Brenda Hook said. Hook's son, tentatively named Mason, is expected next month. The soldier and his fiancee, Suzie Fetterman of Altoona, were planning an October wedding.

"He was your typical all-American kid," Belinda Hook said. "He was a good kid. He loved the Army and was going to make a career of it."

"It was his dedication that I remember," said Phil Riccio, Hook's former football coach at Altoona Area High School.

Bell, 21, was due to come home to Caruthersville, Mo., on leave Sept. 13, his aunt, Glenda Overbey, told the Associated Press. He had been in Iraq since June, where he turned 21.

"I knew him when he was a little boy," said J.J. Bullington, his former middle school principal. "I taught him swimming. This is a real small community of about 7,000. Everybody knows each other."

For Hubbard's family in Clovis, Calif., the 21-year-old's death was the second tragedy from the war, the Fresno Bee reported. One of his brothers, Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Hubbard, was killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi in 2004.

A third brother, Jason Hubbard, will be returning home from Iraq to be with his family, said Clovis police spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee.

Garrett Ian McLead, 23, was a surfer from Rockport, Texas, who was on his second tour in the Middle East and looked forward to coming home in October, said Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe, a family friend who was asked to speak on the family's behalf yesterday.

The helicopter's two pilots and two flight crew members were based at Fort Lewis in Washington state, base spokesman David Kuhns said.

They had just picked up the other troops after a mission when the Black Hawk crashed, said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a military spokesman in northern Iraq. The soldiers the Black Hawk was ferrying were based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, according to a statement by Col. Timothy M. Ryan, rear detachment commander of the 25th Infantry Division.

Capt. Corry Paul Tyler of Puyallup, Wash., was identified as one of the crew members by pastor William Warnock, who spoke for the family in an interview with KING Television of Seattle.

Josh Harmon, 20, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio, about 25 miles northeast of Cleveland, was a combat medic in the Army, said Tim Serazin, a lieutenant at the nearby Willoughby Hills Fire Department, where Harmon's father, Richard, serves as chief.

Earlier this year, Harmon married a woman he had met while training in Hawaii, Serazin said.

Phillip J. Brodnick's death was announced by Burbank, Ill., Mayor Harry Klein during a village board meeting Wednesday night, the Daily Southtown newspaper of Tinley Park reported.

The 27-year-old's father is a police officer there, Burbank Police Chief Bruce Radowicz said.

Jessy Pollard, 21, of Springfield, Mo., died doing something he believed in, said his stepfather, Alan Dewitt. "He was fighting for our American freedoms that we enjoy," Dewitt told the Springfield News-Leader. "After high school, he really got into wanting to do that. He prayed about it a lot before he joined."

Also killed were: Chief Warrant Officer Paul J. Flynn, 28, a native of Gibsonville, N.C.; Capt. Derek Dobogai, 26, of Fond du Lac, Wisc.; Cpl. Jeremy P. Bouffard, 21, Middlefield, Mass.; Sgt. Matthew L. Tallman, 30, of Groveland, Calif.; Spc. Tyler R. Seideman, 20, Lincoln, Ark.; and Staff Sgt. Jason L. Patton, 25, of Poway, Calif. 

Soldier with N.J. ties among 14 killed in Iraq helicopter crash

The Associated Press

ALTOONA, Pa. — A soldier from western Pennsylvania who had ties to New Jersey was among 14 U.S. soldiers killed Aug. 22 when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a nighttime mission in northern Iraq, relatives said.

Army Spc. Michael A. Hook, 25, of Altoona, had been in Iraq for almost a year on his first tour, said his father, Larry Hook, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

“He died doing what he wanted to do,” Larry Hook told the Altoona Mirror. “But it’s been pretty devastating.”

After graduating from high school in Altoona in 2001, Hook lived with his father and stepmother, Belinda Hook, in New Jersey and worked doing odd jobs for about a year before returning to Altoona.

His mother, MaryAnn Hook, and his fiancee, Suzie Fetterman, both live in Altoona. Hook was scheduled to return from Iraq in September, and an October wedding was planned.

The Black Hawk was one of two helicopters and had just picked up troops after a mission when it crashed, according to Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a military spokesman in northern Iraq. The four crew and 10 passengers aboard were assigned to Task Force Lightning.

Military authorities said it appeared the aircraft was lost due to mechanical problems and not from hostile fire.

Hook enlisted in the Army about two years ago after working in Altoona for a roofing contractor, his father said.

“He just decided he was going into the Army and I respected that,” Larry Hook said.

“I don’t think he was real interested in going to Iraq ... but I think he was excited about coming home,” said Michael Hook’s grandmother, Winifred Hook of Altoona.

Hook’s unit, the 25th Infantry Division’s combat aviation brigade, was expected to be back at its base in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, by late September, his father said.

Michael Hook was looking forward to coming home because his fiancee is pregnant, his father said.

Hook played football at Altoona Area High School.

“It was his dedication that I remember,” coach Phil Riccio said.

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