Sunday, January 03, 2010

Army Pvt. John P. Dion

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. John P. Dion, 19, of Shattuck, Okla.

Pvt. Dion was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Jan. 3, 2010 in Ashoque, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained when insurgents attacked their unit with multiple improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire. Also killed were Sgt. Joshua A. Lengstorf and Spc. Brian R. Bowman.

U.S. Army Pvt. John P. Dion’s half brother said he had a bad feeling when Dion decided to enlist in the Army. "(But) he wanted to serve his country, and he’s a hero,” said Justin Werve, 26, of Shattuck.
Dion, a 19-year-old 2009 Shattuck High School graduate, and two other soldiers died Sunday in Afghanistan, the U.S. Defense Department confirmed Tuesday.

Dion moved to Shattuck from California during his sophomore year of high school, Werve said. Dion’s family moved to Georgia after he graduated from Shattuck.

Werve, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Iraq, said his own feelings about Dion’s enlistment weren’t enough to dissuade him.

"Even though he disagreed with his family, he was always there for them,” Werve said. "He was very protective of his family and very committed to whatever he did.”

Dion was a standout athlete during his time in Shattuck, said Coby Nelson, high school principal and Dion’s baseball coach. Dion was the starting centerfielder on the baseball team and a backup on the football team.

"He was a leader on the baseball team,” Nelson said. "We improved our program, and he was a big part of it. We won the district tournament last year, and that was very important to him. He was proud of that.”

Werve said he will remember Dion’s irrepressible optimism and humor. "He was a prankster,” Werve said. "He always used to play jokes on people. He was the happy-go-lucky type.”

Memorial service plans have not been announced.

Army Pvt. John P. Dion was killed in aciton on 01/03/10.

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