October 27, 2009
Fort Carson’s deadliest month got worse Tuesday as the Pentagon announced that two more soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan.
The two deaths, from the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, brought the monthly toll to 17 — five more than have been killed in any month for Fort Carson since 2001.
Killed were Pfc. Devin J. Michel, 19, of Stockton, Ill., who died in an Oct. 24 bombing in Zhari province, and Sgt. Eduviges G. Wolf, 24, of Hawthorne, Calif., who died Oct. 25 in Kunar province after insurgents attacked her vehicle with a rocket-propelled grenade.
The two deaths bring Fort Carson’s toll in Afghanistan to 32 and the total from the post killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to 287.
Michel joined the Army last year and trained as an infantryman before moving to Fort Carson and deploying with 4th Brigade in May.
During his time in Afghanistan, Michel earned the Army’s Combat Infantry Badge and the Army Achievement Medal.
At Stockton Senior High School, three hours west of Chicago near the Wisconsin border, Michel was remembered as a well-liked kid who worked hard on the basketball court and the gridiron.
“He wasn’t the star of the team, but he gave you everything he had,” said school principal Terry Sertle.
Everyone in Stockton knew that Michel’s goal was joining the Army and defending his country. It fit his personality perfectly.
“He just tried to be there for his friends when they needed him,” Sertle said.
Wolf joined the Army in 2003 and trained as a logistics specialist. In the brigade she worked to keep soldiers supplied with everything they needed to live in the harsh environment of Afghanistan.
She was given the Army Commendation Medal for her efforts and had earned the Army Achievement Medal three times.
She’s the fifth woman from Fort Carson killed at war since 2001.
The Mitchell, S.D., Daily Republic newspaper reported that Wolf is a mother of two who is married to another soldier — Farmer, S.D.-native Josh Wolf.
The newspaper quoted Hanson School District Superintendent Jim Bridge as a spokesman for the family.
“They’re still in shock just like anybody would be,” he said. “I feel bad for them all. It sure brings it close to home when it’s somebody you know.”
The two deaths add to Fort Carson’s mourning this month. The month began with an Oct. 3, firefight in southeastern Afghanistan that left eight men killed in the deadliest single incident for the post since the Vietnam War.
As October’s toll climbed, it surpassed the past record for deaths in a month — 12 — which came during the height of the insurgency in Iraq during the summer of 2005.
The deaths brought the toll for the 4th Brigade Combat Team to 134 in two tours in Iraq and the current fighting in Afghanistan.