WATERVILLE – The body of U.S. Army Spc. Wade A. Slack, who grew up in Waterville and was killed a week ago in Afghanistan, will arrive in Maine on Friday, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

Slack, 21, died of wounds he sustained May 6 in Jaghatu, Afghanistan, after insurgents attacked his unit using “indirect fire,” according to the Department of Defense.

Slack, who specialized in disarming explosives, was assigned to the 707th Ordnance Company, 3rd Ordnance Battalion, of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

His father, Alan Slack of Waterville, has said that his son had just disarmed an improvised explosive device and was waiting to be airlifted back to base unit when a shell exploded and the fragments hit him.

Slack was taken by a medevac to an outside medical facility and probably died at the facility or en route to it, according to a spokeswoman for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul.

His deployment to Afghanistan — he had been there for about 10 months — was his first deployment.

Slack’s body was flown on Saturday to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where family members gathered for a military ceremony.

On Wednesday, Shanon Cotta, spokesman for the Maine Army National Guard, said that Slack’s remains will be flown to Maine on Friday, but he didn’t yet know where or when.

Cotta said public visiting hours are scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Veilleux Funeral Home on Elm Street in Waterville.

On Sunday, a funeral is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. at Blessed Hope Church on Pleasant Street, Cotta said.

Slack will be buried on Tuesday in Lewis Cemetery in Oakland, at a time not yet established, Cotta said.

Slack graduated from Waterville Senior High School in 2007 and worked on and off as a cook at The Last Unicorn restaurant in Waterville from 2005 to 2007.

Alan Slack, a veterinarian at the New England Animal Hospital in Waterville, said his son “had been oriented for military service since 14.”

In interviews, friends and family members described Slack as a smart, caring and cheerful person.

According to the Department of Defense, he enlisted in the Army on Sept. 1, 2006, in Portland. On July 11, 2007, he reported to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for basic training. He later completed initial entry training in his military occupational specialty at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

On Sept. 16, 2008, he reported to what was then Fort Lewis, Wash., where he was assigned to the 707th Ordnance Company, according to the Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense said Slack’s awards and decorations included the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge.


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