From Renee of the Soldiers' Angels Living Legends Team:
We have a fallen Hero from Soldiers' Angels, Spc. Michael J. Crutchfield.
Spc. Crutchfield, 21, of Stockton, Calif., died Dec. 23 in Balad, Iraq, of a non-combat related injury.
Michael was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C. Crutchfield’s death is under investigation.
Michael is survived by his foster parents, Richard and Danielle Duarte.
Local papers as well as an Army spokesman at Fort Bragg have reported Crutchfield's death as a suicide.
At his funeral, however, those close to him chose to focus not on the way he died but instead on the way he lived.
A friend who said Crutchfield moved in with him and his family for more than a year remembered him as an enthusiastic friend who would wake the house up to join him in whatever he had chosen to pursue that day, whether it was jogging or spending hours at a mall arcade.
Friends said Michael Crutchfield did not talk about his problems or his childhood.
Instead, he appeared to be the one they often depended on. His comrades in the Army nicknamed him "Crutch," because they leaned on him for information in his unit, said Brig. Gen. John McMahon.
Remember our Heroes.