Hometown: Soperton, GA
Date of Death: 7/14/2003
Incident Location: Baghdad
Branch of Military: Army
Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment
Unit's Base: Fort Stewart, Ga.
Sgt. Michael T. Crockett's mother sent him off to war in December with a hug and a kiss. "He told me he was too old for that, but he kissed me," Maxine Crockett said. "I told him we weren't going to say goodbye, we're going to say, 'See you later.' So he said, 'See you later.'" Crockett, 27, of Soperton, Ga., died July 14 in Iraq when his unit was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades. His wife, Tracey, learned of her husband's death just hours after she had received a dozen red roses he had sent from overseas. "He loved to spoil me, and after his son was born, he spoiled him, too," she said. The 3-year-old son is named after his dad: Michael Tyrone Crockett Jr.
A 2003 New York Times article profiling Sgt. Crockett's division after its return from Iraq:
There is a lot of pain to digest. The division has planted a row of eastern redbud trees along one side of the parade field at Fort Stewart -- one for each of those who did not return home. The trees will bloom each spring, when most of the soldiers died.
The division lost 38 soldiers; 4 more from other units that fought with the division also died. The First Brigade lost 19, the last of them, Sgt. Michael T. Crockett, on July 14, when guerrillas fired a rocket-propelled grenade into his Humvee on the road from the airport outside Baghdad.
The next time John McCain talks about the need for victory without defining what that would mean, remember the faces of those who have been lost to this open-ended war. I'm only half way through 2003. These are just military deaths from Georgia. There are civilians, Americans and Iraqis, who have died, not to mention the thousands of other American military lives lost. Hundreds of thousands suffering from physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual ramifications of their tours. This war is costing so much. The Iraqi government wants us to leave. It's time to bring the troops home!
Related: Inspiration, Part One, Parts Two and Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven