A few months before he was sent to the Gulf, Sgt. Michael Pedersen, 26, separated from his wife but promised to talk about reconciling when he got back.
Pedersen, a crew chief, never got the chance. It was like a chapter unfinished, his wife, Chanel Pedersen, told The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Natives of Flint, Mich., Michael and Chanel started dating when she was 13 and he 15. They attended the same high school in Flint, and he joined the Army immediately after graduation.
The Pedersons, who were married in 1997, had a daughter, Destiny, 7.
Chanel Pedersen said her husband was a quiet person.
He was a great father he loved his daughter, she said. He was an excellent soldier.
After she learned of his death, Chanel Pedersen had her arm tattooed. It reads, RIP Michael.
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