Army Captain Michael Jon Pelkey, born August of 1975, in Waterbury, Connecticut, beloved son of Jean Knight and Chuck Pelkey; beloved husband of Stefanie; beloved father of Benjamin.
Captain Pelkey deployed for Iraq with the 1st Armored Division in late March 2003, leaving his wife, Stefanie — herself then a Captain in the U.S. Army — and three-week old son, Benjamin, at home at their post in Germany. He returned to Germany in late July and, according to Stefanie, “It seemed upon his return that our family was complete and we had made it through our first real-world deployment.”
Michael noted on his DD Form 2796 — his post-deployment health assessment — a range of minor physical problems including frequent indigestion, headaches and tiredness. He also noted that he had felt in great danger of being killed while in Iraq and that he witnessed the killings and bodies of many coalition members and civilians. He also made a notation that he was feeling down, depressed, and sometimes hopeless.
However, it would become tragically obvious that Michael’s struggles were not over. Michael met with the therapist on a Monday; the couple celebrated their third wedding anniversary on a Tuesday; and on Friday, November 5, 2004, Stefanie came home to find her husband took his own life to end his suffering.
Captain Michael Jon Pelkey lost his battle with PTS, November 5, 2004. He was 29 years old.