Derek Hines, an Army Ranger and First Lieutenant, who was a four-year starter and alternate captain of the 2002-03 Army hockey team, was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Baylough, Afghanistan, on September 1, 2005 as reported by the Times Herald-Record. He was 25.
“He was a great guy, more than just a hockey player,” Army senior Seth Beamer told Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record. “You couldn’t ask for a better kid.”
Hines has 12 goals and 20 assists in his career at West Point and scored a goal in his first game.
“He wasn’t big in stature, about 5-foot-8, but he was able to create a lot of things with his speed,” head coach Brian Riley told McMillan. “He wasn’t the biggest guy, but from a coaching standpoint he played big. He had a big heart. He came to play every game. He never wavered on anything.”
The Times Herald-Record reported that Hines sent an e-mail to Riley dated two days before his death, in which Hines continued to encourage the cadets at West Point, urged them to start hitting the books hard and was looking forward to following the team over the Internet.
“He turned into somebody who was so proud of the uniform that he wore,” Riley told McMillan. “The guys he was leading were heroes and he was just so proud to be around those guys, and ultimately he paid the ultimate sacrifice and he’s a hero.”
According to the Time Herald-Record, Hines’ commanding officer told Steven Hines, Derek’s father, that Derek kept firing at the insurgents, even after he had been fatally shot.