Sunday, July 13, 2008

Army Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Ga.

Cpl. Ayers was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy; died of wounds sustained when his outpost was attacked by small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, Sgt. Israel Garcia, Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad.

Atlanta Journal Constitution -- His parents had already begun buying decorations for Jon Ayers' homecoming party. The Army corporal was due to return to Snellville in three weeks.

He had but one week remaining on his first tour of Afghanistan.

Ayers, 24, died Sunday in the northeastern province of Kunar, where militants launched one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. troops since the 2001 invasion,

He was one of at least two Georgia soldiers killed Sunday in Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Mitchell Young, of Jonesboro died when his vehicle struck an explosive in Kajaki Sofla. The U.S. Department of Defense has not yet released all the names of those killed in Kunar province.

Ayers and his comrades were completing work on a new U.S. base in a remote, mountainous region bordering Pakistan, said his father, Bill Ayers.

"The last few weeks we were told that tensions had really escalated," the elder Ayers said.

But that didn't deter his son, an ROTC commander at Shiloh High School.

"He was always very positive about the mission," said Bill Ayers. "He'd say, 'Dad, we're doing really good things over there.' "

Funeral services are pending. Jon Ayers is survived by his parents, Bill and Suzanne Ayers, and his older brother, Josh.

Army Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers was killed in action on 7/13/08.

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