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Army Sgt. Charles E. Wyckoff Jr.

Died June 6, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


28, of Chula Vista, Calif., died June 6 in Nalan, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

SoCal soldier with 82nd Airborne Division killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — A Southern California soldier who served with the 82nd Airborne Division was killed in Afghanistan last week, the military announced June 11.

Sgt. Charles E. Wyckoff, 28, of Chula Vista, Calif., died from injuries he sustained from enemy small-arms fire on June 6 while on patrol in Nalan, military officials said.

Wyckoff was an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

He joined the Army in June 2004 and completed training at Fort Benning, Ga.

Wyckoff graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., and enlisted in the Army with the goal of becoming a warrant officer and attending flight school, said his wife, Erika.

“He chose to enlist as an infantryman to gain the respect of all the guys he worked with,” Erika Wyckoff said in a statement. “I believe that Charlie easily accomplished just that.”

“He saved the lives of his men, and in a way, saved mine as well,” she said.

Wyckoff grew up in Chula Vista near San Diego, graduating from Chula Vista High School in 1996.

Along with his wife, he is survived by stepson, Joshua; stepdaughter, Alexandra; parents Edward and Sylvia Wyckoff; and sister, Alina Perez.


Soldier killed in Afghanistan loved parachuting

The Associated Press

In Afghanistan on his first combat deployment, Army Sgt. Charles E. Wyckoff Jr. found ways to ease the anxieties of his family back home. He tried to downplay the hardships in his letters, phone calls and videos.

“His fun-loving nature was always there,” said his sister, Alina Perez. One video showed mountain ranges, some difficult living conditions and Afghan children learning to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

In the video’s closing moments, he wrote a message of love to his wife, Erika, on a rock. And to his family, he spelled “I love you” with flowers.

Wyckoff, 28, of Chula Vista, Calif., was killed by small-arms fire June 6 in Helmand province. He was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Wyckoff graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2002 and enlisted in the Army with the goal of becoming a warrant officer and attending flight school.

“He loved parachuting,” his sister said. “There was something about being airborne, an adrenalin thing. He loved it. He would have his cell phone camera on while he was jumping. He was a crazy kid, nothing but courage in everything he did.”

He also is survived by his children, Alexandra and Joshua.

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