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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stryker brigade soldier killed by bomb in Iraq

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

Four days after it officially took over responsibility for the Taji area northwest of Baghdad, Hawai'i's Stryker brigade has suffered its first combat fatality.

Spc. Jon Michael Schoolcraft III, 26, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, died Saturday in Taji from wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, the Pentagon said.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment "Wolfhounds" out of Schofield Barracks.

Last Tuesday, the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, transferred authority to the Hawai'i unit known as the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The 1st Brigade had been in Iraq for 15 months.

Hawai'i's Stryker brigade deployed in November and December with 4,000 soldiers and about 328 of the eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles.

"He loved his family very much," said his mother, Cynthia Ann Schoolcraft. "He liked to kid around, and he was a good person and a good soldier." Schoolcraft was a 2001 graduate of Wapakoneta High School.

In a related development, U.S. and state flags at government buildings in Hawai'i will be flown at half-staff today in honor of Navy reservist Victor W. Jeffries of Honolulu, who died on Dec. 30 as the result of a vehicle accident while on a deployment to Kuwait.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com.