Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Army Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III

Remember Our Heroes

Army Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III, 36, of Franklin, Tennessee.

Sgt Ponder died while conducting combat operations when the MH-47 helicopter that he was aboard crashed in the vicinity of Asadabad, Afghanistan in Kumar Province. He was was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Sgt. 1st Class James "Tre" Ponder III was an unlikely hero _ "not real tall, somewhat thin, but tough as nails," said his father-in-law, the mayor of Ponder's hometown in central Tennessee.

"He was a young man who could love his young children and then go out into the desert and fight with a great deal of energy. He's a real warrior, and the warrior in him has made this situation somewhat comforting for the family," father-in-law Tom Miller said.

Ponder, 36, grew up in Franklin, 15 miles south of Nashville, and enlisted in the Army after a few semesters at Auburn University.

He was a father of two young girls and a flight commander stationed with the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Ky. He had been overseas for about three weeks when the helicopter was shot down, Miller said.

"My granddaughter just this week asked her mother the question as they were saying their prayers and asking for safety for Tre. She said, 'Mommy, how do we know when Jesus is calling Daddy home to be an angel?" Miller said. "Faith and knowing that Tre is doing what God wanted him to do is sustaining the family."

Army Master Sgt James W. Ponder III was killed in action on 06/28/05.

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