CLINTON, UT, US
CPL, CO A, 5TH BN, 20TH INFANTRY, 3 BCT, FORT LEWIS, WA
06/06/2010, BAQUBAH, IRAQ
Army Corporal Michael A. Pursel is a soldier remembered for his eagerness to serve. He was part of the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division based in Fort Lewis, Washington. The Clinton, Utah resident was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom when he was killed by an improvised explosive device which detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Baqubah, Iraq on May 6, 2007. He was 19 years old. Five other soldiers and a Russian journalist were killed in the blast. All were Stryker unit soldiers.
Michael was deployed to Iraq when the 3rd Brigade was on its second tour and had lost more than three dozen soldiers, and needed reinforcements. Corporal Pursel readily volunteered for the job. Michael enlisted immediately after high school and had been on active duty for less than a year. He was passionate about the military, having talked about joining the Army since he was a child. On his MySpace page, he wrote that he was “currently in Iraq living the dream.”
Corporal Pursel was born into a military family; his parents and his stepfather serve or have served in the military. After basic training, Michael requested to be assigned to Fort Lewis, where his father was stationed during his youth. Michael was born in Germany, and the family moved to Lacey when his father was transferred to Fort Lewis. They moved to Lacey in 1998, when his father was reassigned from Germany to Fort Lewis. His mother, Terry Dutcher, is a captain in the Air Force Reserve who lives in Hooper, Utah. He attended Christian Life Church and its school, Christian Life School. He was serious about his Christian faith, writing on his MySpace page that he recently became saved.