CONCORD — He grew up here, playing basketball at St. Agnes Elementary School and water polo at De La Salle High School. He was a delivery boy for this newspaper.
Capt. John Hallett III, 30, died Tuesday in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb, the Army said Thursday.
He arrived there in July. His daughter Heidi was born earlier this month.
He never got to hold her.
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., he married his wife Lisa in 2004, three weeks before he left for a 13-month stint in Iraq. The couple has two sons, Jackson, 4, and Bryce, 2. Lisa is also from Concord, though she now lives in DuPont, Wash., just outside Fort Lewis, where Hallett's Stryker brigade was based.
The Army released a statement from his wife Friday afternoon.
"Captain John Louis Hallett III was an amazing father, devoted and joyful husband, thoughtful son, loving brother, and inspiring friend. ... He was a patient teacher to our children.
"He had the warmest and most genuine smile. John would always make people laugh by his clever ways and kind humor ...
"Words fail to begin to describe John's true spirit. John's amazing example and memories will live in and guide his three young children."
At West Point, Hallett was captain of the water polo team in his senior year, said a family member who declined to be named. The Army encouraged the family not to speak with the media.
His parents still live in Concord, where Hallett's two younger brothers also grew up.
Hallett believed in what he was doing, the relative said.
Funeral arrangements are pending, the family member said.
Hallett and three other soldiers were killed in the blast, according to a news release from Fort Lewis. Since the war began in 2001, 806 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, according to icasualties.org.
Also killed were: 30-year-old Capt. Cory J. Jenkins, of Arizona; Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer, 38, of Trenton, Mo.; and Pfc. Dennis M. Williams, 24, of Federal Way, Wash.
They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Another American military death Friday in eastern Afghanistan made August the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the nearly eight-year war, The Associated Press reported.
Staff Writer Roman Gokhman contributed to this report. Reach Paul Thissen at 925-943-8163.