Friday, January 06, 2012

Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis, Ind.

SSgt Metzger was assigned to 81st Troop Command, Indiana National Guard, Indianapolis, Ind.; died Jan. 6, 2012 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., Spc. Christopher A. Patterson and Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt.

SSgt Metzger was born and raised in Illinois. He graduated from Rich South High School in Richton Park, IL, in 1998. He served eight years in the Marines and was honorable discharged in 2005.

SSgt Metzger was a certified physical trainer and enjoyed weight and power-lifting. He also enjoyed boating and camping with family and friends.

Jonathan took first place in the World Chicago Bench Press Championship in 1996, at the age of 16. At that time Jonathan weighed 165 lbs and benched 336.5 lbs.

After marrying his wife, Erica, the couple settled in Indiana where his wife was from.

SSgt Metzger joined the National Guard in 2006 and planned on a military career. He was studying for the rank of MSgt. He deployed to Afghanistan in December. This was his second deployment, having previously been deployed to Iraq.

Father-in-law, Patrick Lair, said Metger's effect on others was clear the day he left for Afghanistan. "There must have been 500 people. That is how much he was loved."

"From my understanding, they swept the area with the robots, it came back clean. Jonathon got on the air and said, 'I will take the lead,' it was his squad, and just as soon as he took the lead, that is when the IED went off," Lair said

"Jonathon was a hero, a true hero, and he still is in our hearts, because he lived by the creed to protect this country," Lair said. "God bless him and God rest his soul."

He was due to come back home on leave in a couple weeks

SSgt Metzger's awards and decorations include:

Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign medal with Bronnze Service Star
Iraq Campaign medal with Bronze Service Star
Armed Forces Reserve medal with 'M' Device (2)
Noncommissioned officers professional Development Ribbon (2)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
NATO Medal
Combat Action Badge
Driver and Mechanic Badge

SSgt Metzger was laid to rest on January 20th in The Field of Heroes at The Gardens in Olive Branch Cemetery in Greenwood.

SSgt Metzger is survived by his parents, Jackie and Jim; wife, Erica; brother, Jeremy and sister, Julie.

Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger was killed in action on 01/06/12.

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