Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Army Spc. Jonathan K. Peney

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Jonathan K. Peney, 22, of Marietta, Ga.

Spc. Peney was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; died June 1, 2010 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when he was shot by enemy forces.

Specialist Jonathan Peney lost his life just shy of his 23rd birthday, and just a few days short of his first wedding anniversary.

Friends remember the Army Medic as a man of passion. He enlisted in the military in 2005, but became a fan of rock climbing when he was much younger. Fellow rock climbers say it's a hobby he pursued with the same vigor he applied to job with the Army.

"He was just joyful and happy, and that exuded out of him very effortlessly," said friend Laura Kimel, who went on numerous rock climbing trips with Peney.

At Atlanta Rocks in northwest Atlanta, climbing instructors remember the skinny teenager who arrived at the age of 13. They watched him grow into a soldier. Greg Perry remembers the day Peney visited to say goodbye.

"He came by to say I'm going to Afghanistan, and I'm leaving tomorrow," said Perry. "He was real positive before he left.

"It's been a real honor to be a part of his life," said Perry.

Long before he decided to join the Army, Jonathan K. Peney was a determined young man, according to his friends. At a young age, the Marietta native began rock climbing. He eventually climbed at the elite level.

"He was pretty determined to do what regular people haven't done." Adrian Prelipcenau, a friend and fellow climber, told the AJC.

The 22-year-old Ranger was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan while trying to give medical aid to a fellow soldier who had been wounded. Peney, a highly trained medic, is being hailed as a hero for his actions. Peney died in Kandahar province from wounds sustained when he was shot by enemy forces, according to the Department of Defense.

Peney, who enlisted in the Army in 2005, had served as a combat medic for more than two years. He was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan. Peney was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, according to the Department of Defense.

"Spc. Peney was the epitome of our Ranger medics -- warrior first, expert in advanced medical treatment, and selflessly dedicated to the care of others," Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, said in a statement released by the Army.

"Spc. Peney did not hesitate to move under heavy fire to the care of another wounded Ranger," Kurilla said. "He is a hero to our nation, the 75th Ranger Regiment and his family."

In between his military deployments, Peney found time to meet his future wife and fall in love, friends said. Peney met Kristin E. Felton in Savannah during an outing with mutual friends. The couple was married in Greece last summer, Felton's father, Michael Felton told the AJC.

"We didn't get to spend a lot of time with him," Michael Felton said. "But they were very happy, and that's the important thing."

Kristin Felton and Peney's mother, Sue L. Peney of LaGrange, traveled to Dover, Dela., for the arrival of Jonathan Peney's casket, Michael Felton said. The Army will keep the soldier's body for several days, he said.

The soldier had previously received numerous medals, including the Army Commendation Medal, and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

A climbing friend and a fellow Ranger told the AJC late Wednesday that Peney had recently graduated from Ranger school. Peney, the friend said, was the type of guy always willing to help.

"That's in character," said the friend, who asked not to be named due to his military role.

Prelipcenau, of Norcross, recalled Peney years ago volunteering to help fellow climbing friends with a business venture. Peney, then a teenager, helped build a climbing wall in Suwanee, Prelipcenau said. Even then, Peney thought long and hard before making decisions, such as the one that sent him into the military, he said.

"He just wanted to help," Prelipcenau said. "He wanted to take life to the next level. He wasn’t afraid of anything.”

Army Spc Jonathan K. Peney was killed in action on 6/1/10.

1 comment:

Barry West said...

jon played in the 1stssf clan in mohaa with me. he came by our house here in indiana befor he left to join the service. spent about a week with him, he was a great well mannered kid who knew what he wanted in life. i just found out today what has happened and i wanna thank jon and his family for his couragous attitude. as a vet of 91 storm these soldiers who give there all is sad, i just hope the rest of america knows they are doing it for all of us. R.I.P Mr.Penny i will miss ya.