The Defense Department said Thursday that Sgt. Michael D. Kirspel Jr. died Wednesday from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
The 23-year-old soldier from Hopatcong was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery (Strike), 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Kirspel was a 2006 graduate of Hopatcong High School. He joined the Army a month later and had served a tour in Iraq from October 2007 to November 2008.
Kirspel's friend, Chris Toth of Hopatcong, told the Daily Record of Parsippany that the 9/11 terror attacks had deeply affected Kirspel and motivated him to enlist.
Information from: Daily Record, http://www.dailyrecord.com