Monday, August 20, 2012

R.I.P. - Spc. James A. Justice

DOD Identifies Army Casualty
            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Spc.  James A. Justice, 21, of Grover, N.C., died Aug. 17 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany from injuries suffered on Aug. 14 from enemy small-arms fire in Wardak province, Afghanistan.  Justice was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.

            For more information, media may contact, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs in Heidelberg, Germany at 011-49-1-62271-6685.


Cherryville soldier, 21, dies of combat wounds

James Justice long ‘wanted to be an Army man’ and joined at 18, family says

James Justice of Cherryville always craved the soldier’s life.

At age 18, after years of waiting, he joined the Army. About a month ago, he left for Afghanistan for his first tour of duty there.

On Thursday, Justice died of a head wound he received during a combat mission. He was 21, married and had three stepdaughters.

“He’d made a wonderful soldier,” said Melba Carroll, Justice’s mother-in-law, who lives in Grover. “And I couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law.”

Justice’s parents, Randall and Melissa Justice, learned on Tuesday that he’d been seriously injured. The Army helped them get passports so they could leave Thursday for Germany, where James Justice was being treated, according to Carroll.

But before they left, they got a call informing them of their son’s death.

James Justice’s wife and children live in Italy, where he had been stationed.

A Kings Mountain native, Justice attended Cherryville High School and received a diploma from Cleveland Community College. He had been married about four years.

Justice’s aunt, Janet White of Blacksburg, S.C., said he was “a very wonderful man who loved his wife and children.”

“He loved to joke and loved to laugh,” she said. “He was so full of life.”

She had connected with Justice’s stepdaughters on Facebook and learned that Justice had saved somebody’s life “before his was taken.”

“We don’t have any details,” White said. “But I’m not surprised at all.”

The Rev. David Chapman, pastor of Kings Mountain’s New Beginnings Church of Jesus Christ, knew Justice from the time he was six years old.

“He was a little mischievous as a kid,” Chapman said. “He grew up in the church. He started playing drums and guitar in church. And he was even ministering in the church as a young man, speaking on youth nights.”

Justice and his wife were members of New Beginnings church “and not long ago he came … and said ‘I’m gonna have to go to Afghanistan,’ ” recalled Chapman, who has a son who served tours there.

“I told him Afghanistan was not a pretty place to be,” he said. “’I know it will be a life-changing experience. But you can’t go anywhere your God can’t go.”

Chapman called Justice’s death a tragedy.

“We’re proud to have known him,” Chapman said. “We’re praying for his family. And we’re praying for all soldiers.”

Family members say Justice realized the danger of being a soldier in war time.

“But this was something he always wanted to do,” said Carroll. “He wanted to be an Army man.”

The last time she heard from him was on Facebook from Afghanistan.

“He told me he loved me,” Carroll said. “And to be praying for him. I told him, ‘I love you, too.’ I miss him. He was my hero.”

By Joe DePriest
Posted: Friday, Aug. 17, 2012
Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment

Search this blog