ALTOONA, PA, USA
SPC, HHC, 2D BATTALION, 35TH INFANTRY, 3 BCT, SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI
MULTAKA, IRAQ 08/22/2007
Onetime New Jersey resident Michael Hook couldn’t wait to get back to the States to be with his pregnant fiancée.
SPC Hook was one of 14 service members who came from across the country: California, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.
Hook, an Altoona, PA, resident who spent his summers at the Jersey Shore, had been in Iraq for almost a year on his first tour, said his father, Larry Hook of Little Egg Harbor. “He died doing what he wanted to do,” Larry Hook told the Altoona Mirror in yesterday’s editions. “But it’s been pretty devastating.”
After graduating from high school in Altoona in 2001, Hook went to live with his father and stepmother, Belinda, for over a year in Little Egg Harbor. While in the southern Ocean County Township, he did odd jobs, Belinda Hook said. He returned to Altoona and continued to live with his mother, MaryAnn Hook, but spent summers with his father and stepmother, who have been residents of Little Egg Harbor for 20 years.
After being dispatched to Iraq last August, he returned to Altoona in January for a two-week leave, Brenda Hook said. Hook’s son, tentatively named Mason, is expected next month. The soldier and his fiancé, Suzie Fetterman of Altoona, were planning an October wedding. “He was your typical all-American kid,” Belinda Hook said. “He was a good kid. He loved the Army and was going to make a career of it.”
“It was his dedication that I remember,” said Phil Riccio, Hook’s former football coach at Altoona Area High School.