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Michael Valentine, 22, Student, Takes Life

July 30, 2002

Michael Damien Valentine, 22, the first son of William and Pamela Valentine, brother of Shannon and David Valentine, took his own life on the morning of June 18, 2002.

Michael was born in Westerly, R.I., on Christmas Eve morning in 1980.

He began his education at Carderock Springs Elementary School before enrolling in St. Bartholomew's Catholic School in Bethesda. Following in his sister's footsteps, Michael attended Walt Whitman High School. There he was an active member of the student body, playing both football and baseball for the Vikings as well as being elected to the Homecoming Court three years in a row.

In 1999, he graduated from Walt Whitman with honors and matriculated to the University of Maryland in College Park, enrolling in the School of Business.

MICHAEL WAS AN AVID sports and outdoorsman loving football, baseball, soccer, basketball, downhill skiing, swimming and especially hiking and camping. He and his father were very active in the River Falls Boy Scout Troop 1427, along with several future Whitman football players and Eagle Scouts.

With them and his father, they journeyed to Philmont Scout Ranch — the Boy Scouts of America's High Adventure Camp in New Mexico — in July 1996, hiking over 82 miles in 10 days, 30 years to the week after his father attended the same camp as a young scout.

Michael completed the peak scouting experience in the fall of 1998 when he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.

MIKE WAS VERY CLOSE to his younger brother David, providing leadership and acting as both a role model and friend. He would take him to concerts, movies, late night outings, chauffeuring both to and from while still managing his own personal friends and life. Mike attended every Maplewood Football game in which Dave every competed, including Dave's 95-pounds Junior Team's 1999 Beltway Football League Super Bowl championship win over West Springfield.

Mike was also present for Dave's debut as a Whitman Viking continuing the family's Viking football tradition.

Mike worked his first two summers after high school for American Systems Corporation (ASC) alongside his father and engineering staff. He completed his first "business trip" in the summer of 1999 following graduation, traveling for two weeks to San Diego, Calif.

While there, he worked with ASC, Raytheon, Boeing and SAIC engineers on the U.S. Navy's newest Air Craft Carrier Development Program, the CVN 77 Project. Mike also toured the U.S. Naval Base, the Navy's newest DDG 51 Class Destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald as well as witnessed the Tall Ships return to San Diego.