Soldier Honored: Kraig M. Vickers
Branch of Service: Navy
Rank: Senior Chief Petty Officer
Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii, was assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team (Naval Special Warfare Unit) during Operation Enduring Freedom. On August 6, 2011, SCPO Vickers died when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in Wardak province, Afghanistan.
A graduate of Maui High School in 1992, SCPO Vickers attended Evangel College in Missouri on a football scholarship. He joined the Navy in November 1996, and after basic training, he entered Explosive Ordinance Disposal training. In February 2005, SCPO Vickers began a rigorous selection process and training with Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), a special duty assignment. SCPO Vickers had been trained as a Bomb Disposal Specialist, Expeditionary Warfare Specialist and Freefall Parachutist. His awards and decorations include: three Bronze Stars with “V” for Valor, a Purple Heart, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal among many other personal and unit decorations for his service and sacrifice.
Those who knew him say he was a fearless, intelligent, and easygoing family man. “You couldn’t find a nicer guy,” a former football coach remembered. “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.”
All three of the Vickers children are Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients.