JBLM soldier dies from wounds

Staff writerMay 4, 2013 

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Green Beret who followed his father into the Army’s Special Forces died Thursday at a military hospital in Germany from wounds he sustained in Afghanistan last week.

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, 30, leaves behind a widow, Krista, and sons Michael, 3, and Gabriel, 1.

His wife and other loved ones were with him at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center before he died, she said. He was hurt by an explosion on April 27.

“I’m so proud of him through everything,” Krista Simpson said Friday. “The man that he was when I met him, the man he grew to be, the father he was, and the person he made me.”

He is the third Lewis-McChord soldier to die in combat this year and the second from the 4th Battalion of the 1st Special Forces Group, reflecting how the fight has shifted to special operations teams as Stryker infantry brigades have returned to the base south of Tacoma.

Krista Simpson described her husband as a “badass” who lived out his dream to join the Special Forces. He’d show a softer side at home and embraced fatherhood as intensely as he pursued his military career.

His father, Michael W. Simpson, is a retired Special Forces lieutenant colonel who now works as the city manager of Olmos Park, Texas. The elder Simpson has sent messages to residents about his journey to Germany to meet his son over the past week.

“We’re warriors. We know things happen,” he once told The San Antonio Express-News.

The younger Simpson joined the Army in 2003 as an infantryman. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 with the Germany-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

He completed his qualifications to join Army Special Forces in July 2011 and later joined the 1st Special Forces Group at Lewis-McChord. He was assigned to its newest unit, the 4th Battalion.

Krista’s stepfather recently attended the Boston Marathon and was shook up by the bombings. Staff Sgt. Simpson sent him a message: “I wish there was something I could have done better in my job to keep this evil from happening,” the soldier wrote.

He wanted to try, even though he understood that a government could not always stop harm from falling on innocents.

“He believed that,” Krista said. “He believed God has a plan. There’s a reason for everything.”

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