A Marine and a soldier from North Carolina died in separate incidents Sunday while serving in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday.
Army Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick, 25, of Spring Hope in Nash County died in Baghdad when a bomb exploded near his vehicle during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Marine Pfc. Miguel A. Marcial III, 19, of Secaucus, N.J., died in Anbar province. He was with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) at Camp Lejeune. His death is under investigation.
Marcial joined the Marine Corps on Oct. 12, 2005, and was trained as a field operator. He joined his unit in April 2006.
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Vick, a 1999 graduate of Bunn High School in Franklin County, decided to join the Army in December 2000 for a fresh start, said his father, Reginald Vick. He said his son had tried to open a restaurant in Chapel Hill but without success.
"After [the restaurant] fell through, he lost it," Reginald Vick said.
According to a release from Fort Drum, Vick's military career began in February 2002. He was initially stationed at Fort Bragg after he finished training to become an infantryman. In November 2005, he re-enlisted and was reassigned to Fort Drum to serve with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Vick was a military police noncommissioned officer and was looking forward to ending his second term and getting a law enforcement job, his father said.
"He said he was going to work with the state Highway Patrol or the CIA," Reginald Vick said.
Eric Vick was in the middle of his third overseas tour. He had previously been deployed to Iraq from March 2003 to April 2004 and November 2004 to May 2005. His latest stint in Iraq began in July.
"He was supposed to come back in August," Reginald Vick said, "but he didn't make it."
Besides his father, Eric Vick is survived by his mother, Faye Vick of Spring Hope, and a brother, Milton Vick of Centerville.
(News researcher Brooke Cain contributed to this story.)