Family mourns soldier from S.C.

U.S. Army Spc. Demetrius Lamont Void, 20

An Army soldier with ties to St. George was killed in Afghanistan this week after he was struck by a military vehicle on the grounds of a U.S. base.

Spc. Demetrius Lamar Void, 20, most recently of the Orangeburg area, died Tuesday of injuries sustained when he was hit by an undisclosed type of vehicle during physical training at Kandahar Airfield, the Army said.

The circumstances surrounding the death are under investigation.

Void is a 2007 graduate of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, but also had attended Woodland High in St. George for a time prior.

Family members said the loss is particularly hard, given Void's good nature.

"He was just a jokey, kooky person," said his uncle, the Rev. Keith Void of Bowman. "He liked to make people laugh. Whatever made everyone else happy, made him happy."

Void, who excelled in math and computers, chose the military over college, his uncle said, as part of a long-standing family tradition of military service.

While the death is under investigation, the Rev. Void said the family has been told the accident was a hit-and-run, and that the armored vehicle did not stop after striking Void. He had recently exited a building and had gone jogging after his work shift, the Rev. Void said.

In phone calls and e-mails from Afghanistan, Void told family members that he was not in a danger zone and spoke favorably of life there, and of the desert environment.

"The only thing he said about Afghanistan is that he loved it and enjoyed it and it's a beautiful place," the Rev. Void said, adding that his nephew described the country as a place he wished that everybody would visit at least once in their life. He also said he was not stationed near the war zone.

Void, who had lived in Bowman and St. George, joined the army in July 2007, and was sent to Fort Hood, Texas. He had been assigned to the 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, III Corps, since April 2008, the Army said. He had been deployed to Afghanistan in April of this year and his job description was listed as information systems operator-analyst.

Void's body was returned to the United States on Wednesday through the military's receiving center at Dover Air Force Base, his uncle said.

The family is planning to hold a funeral service at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High, though arrangements were still being put together Wednesday.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551, or