US Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Kraig M. Vickers, from Hawaii, was killed in action on 6th August 2011 when the helicopter he was in was shot down by enemy forces in Wardak province, Afghanistan.
The 36-year-old was an Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist and a Bomb-disposal technician serving with an East-coast based Navy SEAL unit.
When he was a Maui High School football player, no one could match Kraig Vickers' intensity on the field.
But off the field? "You couldn't find a nicer guy," his former coach remembers.
"He played middle linebacker, so he was really smart, the quarterback of the defense; and when he put on his helmet, no one could match his intensity and aggressiveness," coach Curtis Lee told the Maui News.
Kraig Vickers had been a Navy Bomb Disposal Team member, his father, Robert Vickers, told the newspaper. He said his son would have turned 37 on Thursday before declining further comment on his death.
Kraig Vickers graduated high school in 1992.
He lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Nani, who was pregnant, and their three children, his friend from childhood, Michael Labuanan, told the newspaper.
"I gravitated towards Kraig because of his easygoing personality and the drive to become the best person that he could be," said Labuanan in an email.
U.S. Rep Mazie Hirono released a statement Sunday, extending her "gratitude to Kraig Vickers for his loyal service to our country."