Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Gave All: Major Steven Hutchison

Vietnam veteran Major Steven Hutchison becomes oldest U.S. soldier to die in Iraq at age of 60

A 60-year-old soldier who served two tours of duty in Vietnam has become the oldest US casualty of the war in Iraq.

Major Steven Hutchison’s wife, Kandy, had persuaded him not to sign back up in the army after the September 11 attacks.

But when she died of breast cancer three years ago, the former military man, then aged 57, jumped at the chance to return to active service.

Major Steven Hutchison

American soldiers salute the flag at Camp Liberty, Baghdad: Major Steven Hutchison was the oldest U.S. soldier to be killed in the country

He completed a year tour of duty in Afghanistan. But his deployment to Iraq ended in tragedy on Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Basra.

Major Hutchison, who would have turned 61 on June 5, signed up through a military Retiree Recall programme that allows older, experienced warriors to return to action.

‘He’d been a soldier all his life, and that’s what he wanted to do,’ said his brother, Richard.

‘He hadn’t been drafted and he didn’t have to go, and he chose that he felt he could serve and make a difference,’ said US Army spokesman Lt Colonel Nathan Banks.

The major had been training Iraqi army and police units but his mission had recently changed and he found himself defending Iraq’s southern borders.


Major Hutchison, who lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, had previously served two tours in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970 as a member of the famed 101st Airborne Division and won a Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal.

After retiring, he taught psychology at various California universities before going back into the army.

He was part of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.[source]

There is also a book for condolences here.

Rest in Peace, Major. Rest in Peace.

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