Iraq death snuffed out life of laughter
By Brittany Yap
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brittany Yap
Friends mourning the loss of Hickam-based Airman 1st Class Carl Jerome Ware Jr., who died Saturday in a noncombat-related incident, remembered him for his laughter and good humor yesterday.
No details have been released about the incident, and the Air Force said an investigation into the incident continues. Ware, 22, of Glassboro, N.J., was in the second month of a six-month deployment.
"Carl was a jolly fellow. He was always laughing, always smiling, making jokes," said Janet Meekins, 73, a former neighbor of the Ware family. "He was just a kid that you couldn't help but like."
Meekins said she heard about Ware's death on the news and called his mother yesterday morning to offer her condolences.
Ware's mother is "trying to stay strong for the rest of them," said Meekins, who lives in Smyrna, Del., where the Ware family lived before moving to New Jersey sometime after 2002.
An ex-classmate, Kristen Pearce, recalled hanging out with Ware before and after school.
"He was a really funny guy," said Pearce. "He'd get along with just about anyone."
Ware was assigned to the 15th Airlift Wing based at Hickam Air Force Base. He was deployed with the 886th Expeditionary Security Squadron at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.
Ware is the first Hickam-based airman to die in Iraq. He joined the Air Force in 2004, and this was his first deployment to Iraq. He married Christine Marie Lynch, an active-duty senior airman, in January 2003, the Air Force said. They have a daughter, Caitlyn, who was born in July 2005.
Ware's parents, Barbara and Dave Stutzbach, along with brothers David and Ryan, live in Glassboro.
Ware's wife, who is with his parents in New Jersey, declined an interview and said she would release a statement later this week.
Ware grew up in Smyrna and graduated from Smyrna High School in 2002.
The airman's body will be transported to McGuire Air Force Base in Hanover Township, N.J., base officials said.
Hickam spokesman Tech. Sgt. Andrew Leonhard said Ware's wife has requested that four co-workers from Hickam travel to New Jersey to be pallbearers at the funeral.
There will also be a local memorial, Leonhard said.
Reach Brittany Yap at firstname.lastname@example.org.