ARMY SPC. ERICA P. ALECKSEN
Died: July 8 in Maidan Shahr
Alecksen was killed along with five other members of her military police company when the truck they were riding in ran over an IED in a restive city near Kabul — one of the deadliest days in months for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A native of the small town of Eatonton, Ga., Alecksen joined the Army in 2010 and was soon transferred to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, taking along the husband she had met back home. She then shipped out for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
Alecksen had decided to become a military police officer after asking a retired general for advice after services at her church. He told her that MPs were assigned protect soldiers and their families. Family members credited long shifts spent working in her father’s garage for the toughness and stoicism that served her well in the Army.
“If there was something she didn’t like, you never heard it from her,” her grandfather told the Army Times. “If there was something she did like, she might say something but not dwell on it.”
Keating is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.