WILLIAMSBURG (CITY), VA, USA
SGT, 149TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, 10TH BATTALION, FORT EUSTIS, VA
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN 08/19/2009
His sisters say that when Specialist Paul E. Dumont Jr., 23, was home from a tour in Afghanistan two weeks ago, he was obsessed with off-roading and the Jeep Wrangler he wanted to buy.
“That’s all he talked about,” said his sister, Stefanie Dumont, in an interview Friday at her parents’ Kristiansand home.
Paul, a 2004 Jamestown High graduate, died Wednesday at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident. Not even the family knew the details of his death.
“I’ve gotten calls from 100 people,” said his best friend, Wayne Meador.
The Dumonts settled in James City County in 1998, after Paul Sr. retired from the Army and a career in logistics and supply.
The middle of seven children and the first boy, Paul Jr. idolized his father. When he was 5 or 6, his sisters recalled, his mother sewed a tiny Army uniform for him for Halloween, recycling his father’s nametape. Paul wore the uniform around the house, playing Army men, often with his sister’s Barbie dolls.
He inherited his father’s easy and cheerful disposition, constantly joking. If there was one frustration, his oldest sister, Jessica Oatman said, it was the same thing that made him lovable: he was always joking.
“He could lift you out of a bad mood very fast,” Stefanie said.
He did a hilarious impression of Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura, slicking his dark hair into Ventura’s signature bouffant.
At Jamestown High, “His favorite class was lunch,” said another sister, Michelle Wolfe. He was a class clown, but had a mechanical aptitude that had him tinkering with cars and his Suzuki motorcycle.
“I lived with him for a while, and I’d come home and it’d be all torn apart in the middle of the room,” Stefanie recalled.
He was protective of his mother and was looked up to by twin brothers Brian and Brad, as well as his youngest brother, 7-year-old Adam.
He and his wife, Candice, married in August of last year. The two had been friends in high school, but the romance didn’t blossom until later. “Paul would always flirt with Candice and we thought it was weird,” said Tyler Brown, another close friend.
The couple was just alike. They had matching camouflage baseball hats. At the wedding they tricked the guests by breaking into a choreographed dance routine for their first dance.
“It was so funny,” Stefanie said. “When they did MC Hammer, that was my favorite, with his lanky legs.”
“He’s going to be missed by everyone who knew him,” Michelle said.