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James E Lundin


James Edward Lundin didn’t think that mothers and fathers should be fighting the war in Iraq. So six months before his 18th birthday, the Bellport resident joined the Army. “He said, ‘It should be young guys like me who go,”‘ said his father, Rick Lundin.

SPC James Lundin was killed in Baghdad on Wednesday along with two other soldiers when the Humvee he was traveling in was hit by an IED. He was 20 years old.

Lundin, who was deployed in September, was a gunner on a Humvee and worked with Iraqi police. “He liked his job,” said Rick Lundin, 52, of Bellport. “He believed in what he was doing.”

Lundin didn’t talk much about his duties, said his wife, Katie Lundin, 20. “Even as bad as it was, he always said he was fine,” she said. “I don’t think he wanted me to worry.”

The Lundin family moved to Long Island seven years ago from the San Juan Islands in Washington state. Lundin, an only child, attended Bellport middle and high schools and enjoyed drawing, skating and snowboarding, his father said.

He was also a brave person and a risk-taker who liked driving fast, his wife said. When he was home in January, he bought a yellow Honda S2000, which he had planned to soup up.

On Friday, his parents, who found out about his death late Thursday after returning from a trip to Arizona, were watching a video of him and his father skydiving on a recent trip home.

Lundin attended Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, where he finished his high school credits and met his wife Kristy. The young couple met as they both waited for rides home. He initiated the conversation and asked her what she liked to do for fun. “I said, ‘I like to play video games.’ He said, ‘Marry me,'” said Kristy Lundin, who grew up in Patchogue and now lives with her in-laws. The couple dated for a brief time before he joined the military.

After being apart for some time, they reconnected and made the spontaneous decision to get married.The couple had a proxy wedding in January and had planned a formal wedding for June 30. When his tour was extended, they rescheduled it for November, she said.

After meeting Lundin in January, Maria Hand, Kristy’s aunt and godmother, told her that he was a “keeper.”

“He was so sweet and so attentive to Kristy,” said Hand, of Riverhead.


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