Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire, 20, of Easley, S.C.

Pfc. Whitmire was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 27, 2011 in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte and Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern.

Pfc Whitmire was on a patrol mission with two other medics when their jeep ran over an improvised explosive device. He had only been in Afghanistan for 19 days.

Pfc Whitmire graduated from Hillcrest High School in 2010, where he was on the debate team. Pfc Whitmire joined the Army in September 2010. He reported to Fort Hood this September. He volunteered for this deployment.

Grandmother, Lora Whitmire, said that her grandson had always wanted to be in the Army. He had the chance to go to Harvard, but chose the Army instead. She said,

"...He was supposed to be in a safe location. But it appears that it is not safe anywhere over there."

Father, Donnie, said, "Justin was a 20 year old who loved to fish and had big plans for when he returned to Simpsonville. He said when I get back I have money to buy a brand new boat and go fishing all the time."

His father said his son's death shocked him because he thought his son was in a safe zone. "Never in a million years did we think we'd see that car pull up in that driveway," said his father. "You don't know whether to hurt, be mad. It's just a million emotions running through your head right now."

Mother, Jennifer said, "(Justin) was so excited to get to go. That was all he ever wanted to do. He was so smart he could have chosen any college he wanted to go to, but this is the route he wanted to go. Right now, I feel like I'm just in a bad dream and I need to wake up."

Younger sister, Jessica, "He said, 'don't call me a hero, I am just doing my job', but he is a hero. He's everybody's hero and he will always be my hero.

Family said it's never the bad ones that go, only the good ones.The family had just spoken with Justin via Skype on Christmas Eve. On Monday, Justin posted on his Facebook page, “Had a great Christmas talking to the family and the love of my life on Skype. Can't wait to be home with everyone again soon.”

"That made my Christmas. It was the best Christmas present I ever got," said mother, Jennifer Whitmire.

Pfc Whitmire's awards and decorations include:

National Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire was killed in action on 12/27/11.

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