Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Army Spc. Dennis James Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Dennis James Jr., 21, of Deltona, Fla.

Spc. James was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, La.; died Aug. 31, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Spc James graduated from Pine Ridge High School where he participated in basketball, football and track. He enlisted in the Army in June 2008. Arrived at Fort Polk in November 2009. He deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010.

Dean of Students, Madsen Cange, who had lost touch with Dennis about three years ago, said James was very popular among his classmates and was a good student in the classroom. "it's a very sad day. I found out this week he was in the Armed Forces...but in the same sentence, I had found out he had been killed.

Adam Coniglio, who was an acquaintance of James and former teammate, said he knew him as a hard worker from their days on the football field.

"From what I knew of him, he was a great guy," Coniglio said before the game. "What can you say about someone who gave his life for his country? I'm very proud to have known him."

Aunt and guardian, Rhonda Willams, said, "He was going to make his career in the Army. His career was cut short."

She described her nephew as a generous and kind man with a sense of humor, who loved to play basketball with his much taller cousins.

"You couldn't tell him that he wasn't the big dog of the group. When he wasn't driving to the hoop, he was working on his car, the Dodge Magnum with the big wheels."

Spc James' awards and decorations include:

Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Combat Action Badge

Army Spc. Dennis James Jr. was killed in action on 8/31/11.

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