Army Capt. Jason Hamill, 31, who grew up in Salem, was killed Nov. 26, 2006 with two other soldiers when a roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad. He was within days of finishing his tour in Iraq.
A Connecticut native about to end his one-year tour of duty in Iraq was killed Sunday in Baghdad, his family said Monday.
Jason Hamill, 31, was born in New Haven, attended grade school in Salem and graduated from East Lyme High School in 1993. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with an engineering degree in 1998, his father said. Hamill was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and was supposed to return next week.
His mother, Sharon Hamill, was the first in the family to learn of her son's death when Army representatives visited the Salem house Sunday.
"My first thought was that was Jason ringing my doorbell, because he was due home about this time and I thought he was being his typical wise guy," she said, adding that her son was a comedian who kept his family laughing.
"I did not expect this to happen. I expected him to come home next week or in a few days," Hamill said.
Dick Hamill said his son "enjoyed being in the Army. He believed in what he was doing. ... He felt a strong sense of purpose in what he was doing."
Jason Hamill was one of a set of triplets and also had an older sister. He spent a lot of his high school career wrestling, running track and playing the drums in the school band. But when he got to college, his father said, being a member of the ROTC program and studying engineering took up most of his time. He entered the Army as soon as he graduated from college in January 1998.
As a soldier, he served in Kosovo and Afghanistan and was hoping to start a family with his wife when he returned from Iraq, his father said. Hamill and his wife, Karen, married in 2005 and were in the middle of fixing up their four-bedroom house in Killeen, Texas, Dick Hamill said.
An Associated Press report is included in this article.
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