Parents share memories of son killed in Afghanistan chopper crash

Published: Aug. 8, 2011 at 2:54 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:05 AM HST
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Robert & Mary Vickers
Robert & Mary Vickers
Kraig Vickers
Kraig Vickers
Mary Vickers
Mary Vickers

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email

Robert and Mary Vickers sat down at their home on Maui to share a few memories about their son Kraig.

Kraig's father had coached his son's high school wrestling team where he excelled, and wasn't too surprised when their son told him and his wife Mary he had some news.

"He came home one day and informed us he had enlisted." said his mother Mary.

Not one to miss an opportunity for humor, Kraig showed his father a coffee mug that the Navy recruiter had given him.

"I said what's with this, you know the coffee mug? 'I signed up' he said, 'if I sign up for an extra year they'll give me another cup.' He liked to make people laugh. I told him there's only one class clown in this family, that was me but he out did me." said his father Robert.

But Kraig Vickers new job was no laughing matter. He had signed on to be a part of the Navy's explosive ordinance disposal team, a bomb expert.

Robert Vickers explained part of what his son did for a living. "Part of his job was to set up the training for the Seals so he would go in and set up the booby traps and stuff like that."

Kraig's father, a former Air Force man and Maui police officer, was not blind to the extreme nature of his son's work but accepted it with pride and honor.

"Kraig talked about joining the military and to serve his country and for him it was God first, his country and his family." he says.

Kraig Vickers mother notes how many more lives have been given serving in the military forces. "For all of those that were on that helicopter, every life was important, not just this incident but all the ones before them." she said supported by her husband at her side. "Serving your country to me is a privilege and an honor."

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