Thursday, May 31, 2007

Charles B. Hester dies 'of wounds suffered when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device'

BREMERTON, Wash. -- The Bremerton family of a Fort Lewis soldier said he volunteered for the job that led to his death in Iraq over the weekend.

Charles Hester, 23, was the driver in a Stryker Combat Team that was hit by an explosive last Saturday. He was the only one in his unit killed.

Hester grew up in Bremerton and joined the Army to take care of his wife and daughter, his family said.

His family said he embraced his job and volunteered for hazardous duties.

"He is the most precious thing we could have given to the country," said his father, also named Charles.

"I don't know the circumstances of the roadside bomb that hit his vehicle, but I've heard that the rest of his guys got out. Knowing Charlie, if he could have done something to put himself in the line and save the other guys, he would have done that. He was that type of person," his father said.

Hester had been in Iraq for a year.

Besides his parents, Hester is survived by his wife, his 3-year-old daughter, his brother and two sisters.

From KIRO 7