WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Capt. John Hallett III, 30, former water polo captain and All-Conference player at the United States Military Academy, was among four casualties on Thursday August 27 in southern Afghanistan when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. He is survived by a wife, Lisa, two sons, Jackson, 4, and Bryce, 2, and a newborn daughter, Heidi.
He arrived in Afghanistan in July, one month before the birth of his daughter Heidi.
In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to make donations to the Hallett Family Fund, with all donations going directly to Lisa Hallett and their children.
A native of Concord, Calif., he
played basketball at St. Agnes Elementary School and water polo at
De La Salle High School.
A 2001 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. They were living in DuPont, Wash., just outside Fort Lewis, where Hallett's Stryker brigade was based.
At West Point, Hallett was captain of the water polo team in his senior year and earned All-New York Division First Team honors in 1999. He helped the Black Knights win back-to-back New York Division titles in 1998 and 1999 to join the 2000 and 2001 Army teams as the only programs to win consecutive championships in the history of the division.
"I am so saddened by this news," said Collegiate Water Polo Association Commissioner and Villanova University men's water polo coach Dan Sharadin. "I remember John when he led the Army team during his years at the Academy. He was always such a great leader as well as a player. Both John and his brother Tom played in the CWPA (Army and Villanova) and made tremendous contributions. We want to express to the family our deepest sympathies at this time."
The Fort Lewis Public Affairs
Office released a statement from his wife.
“Captain John Louis Hallett III, was an amazing father, devoted and joyful husband, thoughtful son, loving brother and inspiring friend,” Lisa said. “John possessed incredible work ethic and inspirational integrity. He would always put the needs of others before his own. He was a patient teacher to our children. John loved to organize; he always left the house with pen and paper, ready to make a list. He had an intelligent, balanced and fair perspective.
“He had the warmest and most genuine smile. John would always make people laugh by his clever ways and kind humor. He was the support system for his family. From his years at West Point through his military career, John loved the challenge of being in the Army and knowing that he had the opportunity to serve his country and help others through leadership, example and duty. John felt a strong commitment to serve the country he loved.
“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,” she concluded.
He will be buried on Saturday,
Hallett and three other soldiers were killed in the blast, according to a news release from Fort Lewis. Since the war began in 2001, over 800 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.
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.