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Navy Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers

Died August 6, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

36, of Kokomo, Hawaii; assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team; died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.

Sailor killed in Chinook crashed remembered as easygoing

Staff and wire reports

Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EXW/FPJ) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii, enlisted in November 1996, the Navy said. He was a bomb disposal team member, his father, Robert Vickers, told the Maui News.

“He would have turned 37 on Aug. 11,” his father told the newspaper.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Robert Vickers for additional comment were unsuccessful.

Kraig Vickers lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Nani, who was pregnant, and their three children, his friend from childhood, Michael Labuanan, told the Maui News.

“I gravitated towards Kraig because of his easygoing personality and the drive to become the best person that he could be,” Labuanan wrote in an email to the newspaper.

In a statement, Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, extended her “gratitude to Kraig Vickers for his loyal service to our country.”

“We honor and remember the 30 American service members who gave their lives in Afghanistan. This tragic event is a stark reminder of the supreme sacrifices the women and men of the U.S. military make in serving our country,” the statement said.

Vickers completed Explosive Ordinance training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 1998. He served on Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Hagatna, Guam, from November 1998 to July 2001. Other assignments included serving in Naval Expeditionary Combat Force Command, Bahrain, from August 2001 to August 2002; and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit 3, Barbers Point, Hawaii, from August 2002 to February 2005. He joined his East Coast-based special warfare unit in February 2005.

His decorations include three Bronze Stars with ‘V’ for valor; Purple Heart; Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; two Combat Action Ribbons; three Presidential Unit Citations; Navy Unit Commendation; four Navy Good Conduct Medals; Navy Expeditionary Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Sea Service Ribbon; Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon; Navy Expert Rifleman Medal and Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal.

Flags at half-staff for fallen sailor

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that all national and Hawaii flags at state offices and agencies be flown at half-staff Sept. 3 in memory of a sailor from Maui killed in Afghanistan.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers was an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He was one of 30 American service members killed Aug. 6 when a Chinook helicopter was shot down.

The 1992 Maui High School graduate was married and about to become a father for the third time.

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