Army Sergeant. Jon M. Schoolcraft III, 26, Wapakoneta, Ohio (father resides in Madison, Indiana)

    Died January 19, 2008 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

    He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

    His mother said she spoke with military officials who told her Specialist Schoolcraft was sent out on a dangerous mission in daylight, and will receive the Purple Heart medal given to troops killed or wounded in action.

    “The sergeant told me he needed Michael to go out and scope the area,” Mrs. Hooker said,“He was out with two other vehicles. The first vehicle hit an [Improvised Explosive Device] and nothing happened. The second vehicle, which my Michael was in,” her voice trailed off, “an Iraqi detonated the bomb right behind my son’s Jeep.”

    “With this being his second tour, I just thought he would be more aware. … I don’t know,” Mrs. Hooker said while crying. “You just never plan for this. You always believe they’re coming home.”

    Those who knew Specialist Schoolcraft described him as a “warm, caring” person who was outgoing and helpful to others.

    Mrs. Hooker raised her son and daughter Megan, as a single mother, and her son acted like “the man of the house” at an early age.

    “He did a great job taking care of me and his sister. He will always be my hero, and he would be proud knowing other mothers and wives will get their husbands and sons back sometime because of what he did.”
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