EDMOND — Spc. James T. Wickliffchacin, a native of Venezuela, was proud to live and serve the United States, his art teacher remembered Wednesday.
Wickliffchacin died Friday at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, from injuries he suffered Aug. 12 in a roadside bomb attack in Pul-e-Alam, Afghanistan, the U.S. Defense Department reported.
Wickliffchacin graduated from Edmond Santa Fe High School in 2010.
“He was a good student,” said James Copeland, his art teacher at Santa Fe. “He came here with his parents. He felt very fortunate to be in the United States.”
Copeland remembered some students one day were talking about favoring communism and Wickliffchacin was quick to tell them they didn't know what they were talking about.
“James was always out front,” Copeland said. “I'm sure he was in the battlefield. He was fearless.”
Jason Brown, principal at Santa Fe during Wickliffchacin's junior and senior years, remembered him as being proud that he was going to serve in the military.
“He was excited he was going in the military,” said Brown, now the assistant superintendent for Norman Public Schools. “He purposefully and actively prepared. He wanted to go serve his country”