William C. Comstock overcame living in a series of foster home and excelled as a student athlete in his short, but unique life, friends say.
"He was just a great kid," said his former track coach Tom McMurray. "He was a kid you love coaching. Anything you would ask him to do, he was more than willing."
Comstock, 21, of Van Buren, Ark., died April 22 after a non-combat incident in Anbar province. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune and was an ammunition technician.
He was on his second deployment. His father said he was wounded in action about a year earlier, shot in the knee. He earned a Purple Heart. When he recovered, he volunteered for a second tour.
"He was the perfect Marine," said Janet Parmenter, who met Comstock when he and her son, Nick Harrison, played football in high school.
"My son would not be in boot camp if it weren''t for him," she said. Harrison is due to graduate from Marine basic training next month.
Comstock joined the Corps in January 2007.
Comstock excelled in sports, both at Cedarville, where he began high school, and Alma, where he transferred in his junior year and graduated in 2006.
Published online on Apr. 24, 2009