Spc. Michael W. Franklin
Hometown / City: COUDERSPORT, PA
Date of Death: Monday, March 7, 2005
Conflict: Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
Branch: U.S. Army
Unit: CO C, 44TH ENG BN, 2D INFANTRY DIVISION, (1 MEF), FORT CARSON, CO
Birth: Apr. 2, 1982, USA
Death: Mar. 7, 2005, Iraq
Spc. Michael W. Franklin of Coudersport, Pennsylvania was single, and had regularly volunteered for hazardous duties so as to allow the married soldiers in his group to avoid them. Michael is survived by his parents, William and Tina Franklin. He died in Ramadi, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his screening area at age 22.
44th Engineer Battalion
2nd Brigade Combat Team
2nd Infantry Division
Camp Howze, Korea
Michael Franklin was a spiritual man, but that didn't stop him from being tough. On the football field, he was a force to be reckoned with. "He would go up against guys bigger than him and he would level them," said Fletcher Brothers, the founder of a teen village in Lakemont, N.Y., where Franklin went to school.
Franklin, 22, of Coudersport, Pa., was killed March 7 when a car bomb detonated near his checkpoint in Ramadi. He was based at Camp Howze, Korea.
Franklin joined the Army to follow in the footsteps of two uncles. He volunteered to go to Iraq and then took on dangerous missions to keep married men from having to go. "One day he called and said, 'Mom, I volunteered to go to Iraq,'" said his mother, Tina. "I probably could have stopped him, because he's my son. But he's a man, and he's old enough to make his own decisions. He was so excited about it." In Iraq, Franklin prayed with his squad leader the night before the squad leader died. He was there for his fellow soldiers, said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lally III. "He knew how to liven their spirits," Lally said. -