THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH…
Spc. Joshua D. Jones was in a Humvee hit by small-arms fire and died of his injuries. He leaves a wife, who is pregnant, and a 2-year-old daughter.
As the oldest of six children, Joshua D. Jones had always taken on the role of family protector.
That sense of responsibility was also behind the southeastern Ohio native’s decision to sign up for military service nearly three years ago.
“Whenever he was talking about the Army, he always said he was going to go fight so that his siblings would never have to,” Jones’ father, Gary, said yesterday from his home in Langsville, in Meigs County. “I was just so proud of him for everything.”
The Department of Defense says that Jones, a 24-year-old Army specialist, was killed Sunday in Baghdad when his Humvee was attacked by small-arms fire. Jones was assigned to the 3 rd Battalion, 67 th Armor Regiment, 4 th Brigade Combat Team, 4 th Infantry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas.
Now that word of the death is spreading through the tightknit Appalachian community where Joshua Jones was raised, his father says he has been overwhelmed by the support of others.
Jones and his wife, Tiffany, had moved to Georgia just before he enlisted in the Army in January 2004. There, he earned his general educational development diploma. After finishing boot camp at Fort Knox, he was stationed in Louisiana, and then at Fort Hood. He shipped to Iraq on Dec. 6 last year, his dad’s birthday.
He last visited home in June, and spent some quality time with his 2-year-old daughter, Cami, the elder Jones said.
“And then not long after he was home, we got the call.
“His wife is expecting again,” Gary Jones said. After pausing to collect himself, he added: “He was a great husband, and a great father. I wish this second child would have at least gotten the chance to know that.”
Gary Jones said his son most cherished his role as protector, but he also was passionate about his hobbies, which included riding all-terrain vehicles in the rough Meigs County countryside and racing remotecontrolled cars.
“If it had wheels, he loved it,” Gary Jones said. “That’s all he loved until his daughter came along, and then he understood the joys of being a dad.”
He said he’s still awaiting word from the Army on when his son’s body will arrive home. Whenever that is, he said, the whole family will be there waiting.
Army Specialist Joshua D. Jones was killed in action on 08/27/06.