Fredericksburg Soldier Killed in Iraq
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Army Col. Jon M. Lockey was a brilliant analyst who regaled soldiers with tales of saddling his horse before dawn in midwinter and riding with his wife down a snowed-in farm driveway to reach his car en route to the Pentagon, colleagues said. His family recalled Lockey's intelligence and passion for serving his country.
Lockey, 44, of Fredericksburg died Friday in Baghdad of injuries from a noncombat incident, the Defense Department announced yesterday. The military declined to elaborate, saying the incident is under investigation.
"He was a great person," his mother, Pat Lockey, said in an interview from her home in California. "He was very intelligent. He was born military. He went to West Point, and he loved the Army. He loved the patriotism."
Born in North Hollywood, Calif., Lockey graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1985 and then studied Italian at a language institute in Monterey, Calif. There he met his future wife, Dorothea Jean. The pair, who had two sons, would have been married 20 years in August.
Lockey later received a master's degree from New Mexico State University and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., according to a funeral home obituary.
"Jon was a very creative mind, always taking initiatives, thinking about old problems in new ways," said Wilmer A. "Al" Sweetser, a retired colonel and Lockey's colleague and supervisor from 2002 to 2005 at the Pentagon. "He was just a brilliant officer. I would have expected him to be a leader in his field. It's a great loss."
At the Pentagon, Lockey worked on current and future war planning and helped assess emerging challenges after Sept. 11, 2001, Sweetser said.
Lockey deployed to Iraq as chief of the Biometrics Cell for Multinational Corps-Iraq after being promoted to colonel Feb. 1, said Maj. Anne Edgecomb of Army public affairs.
Lt. Col. Michael Hildreth met Lockey in Iraq. "Biometrics in Iraq changed forever because of his wisdom, knowledge, and vision to get the job done for not only the soldiers serving in Iraq but for our country as a whole," Hildreth wrote in an online memorial book kept by Covenant Funeral Service of Fredericksburg.
To colleagues, Lockey would often talk of riding tractors, building fences and other anecdotes of life at his family's Broad Oaks Stables near Fredericksburg.
"He was a man of honor, character and compassion and always led by example," Hildreth wrote. He said Lockey was especially proud of his sons, one of whom recently joined the Marines.
Lockey will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery after a memorial Aug. 1 at Covenant Funeral Service.