Friday, March 09, 2007

Michael C. Peek dies of injuries from I.E.D.

A South Hampton Roads soldier was one of three killed Saturday in Iraq by a roadside bomb, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday night.

The statement identified one of the three as 23-year-old Army Sgt. Michael C. Peek of Chesapeake.

The incident occurred in Baghdad, the Army's 1st Armored Division public affairs office said, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. The New York Times reported that an American convoy was hit by two roadside bombs Saturday afternoon in central Baghdad, severely damaging two Humvees.

Also killed were Sgt. Brandon A. Parr, 25, of West Valley, Utah, and Sgt. Ashly L. Moyer, 21, of Emmaus, Pa.

As of Wednesday, at least 3,188 members of the military have died since the beginning of the war in March 2003, according to a count by The Associated Press.

The three were assigned to the 630th Military Police Company, which is based in Bamberg, Germany.

According to public records available on the Internet, Peek's family lives in Smithfield. When contacted Wednesday evening, a person answering the phone at that residence said there would be "no statements or anything at this time."

A MySpace Web page that appears to have been set up by Peek under the name "soccer586" includes this comment from the author: "Right now I have to fight early mornings and late nights here in Iraq but that is a little price to pay to be a part of the best Country in the world."

According to posts on the page, he was in his second tour of duty in Iraq and was to leave soon for his wedding.

Many Army buddies had posted memories and tributes on the page by Wednesday evening.

"You were the first friend that I had when I got to Germany and one of the best friends I have ever had," wrote one. "I'm sorry I couldn't have been there for you this time. I wish I could have. I am so lost for words right now."

Peek is listed on the MySpace page as a 2001 graduate of Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk.

Lake Taylor's principal was out of town and could not be reached Wednesday night. People answering the phones at two assistant principals' homes said they were unavailable.

From the Pilot