Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Derek A. Calhoun dies 'of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire'

For the third time in a week, a soldier from Oklahoma has died in Iraq.

Armored tank driver Spc. Derek Calhoun, 23, died when the Humvee he was riding in hit an explosive device near Baghdad on Saturday, family members confirmed.

Calhoun, who had been in Iraq for about eight months on his first tour of duty, was hurt several months ago when a car bomb exploded outside a building he was inside.

“Derek had shrapnel in his wrist, abdomen and shoulder, and they had to operate on him twice,” said Derek’s mother, Lou Calhoun. “I don’t know why he wasn’t sent home then.”

Because of his injuries, Calhoun was unable to use his right hand, Lou Calhoun said.

“Supposedly, he wasn’t supposed to be out on a mission,” Lou Calhoun said.

Calhoun was a graduate of the Wright Business School and was a certified medical assistant. He had hoped to work in the medical field after finishing his service, Lou Calhoun said.

He loved fishing, all kinds of sports — football, baseball and basketball — and spending time with his family.

“His three nieces and one nephew were all pretty special to him,” Lou Calhoun said.

From the Examiner Enterprise