Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jonathan Edds laid to rest

A funeral for 1st Lt. Jonathan W. Edds was held Monday at what has become a second home for the young officer's family -- the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Edds, whose older brother Joel is a 2004 graduate of the academy and whose younger brother Josh has just begun his senior year there, died Aug. 17 of wounds received during a roadside bomb attack near Baghdad.

Edds, a native of White Pigeon, Mich., and a member of the Class of 2005, is the 55th West Point graduate to die in the global war on terror. Of the six Fort Benning officers to die in Iraq since 2003, Edds is the first to have attended West Point.

The service was held at the Cadet Chapel, with burial on the academy grounds following.

Meanwhile, Edds' buddies from the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment held a service of their own this past weekend for their fallen scout platoon leader at Camp Rustamiyah in eastern Baghdad.

"He was pure leadership," said battalion commander Lt. Col. Troy Perry. "He built a team that worked together and then spent their free time together."

Edds' immediate boss, Capt. Alexis Perez, said, "He loved his wife, Laura, and would always talk about the next time he was going to see her."

Edds' best friend, 1st Lt. Leonard Baklarz, remembered him as a brother who was always up for a joke.

"We would joke on each other all the time," Baklarz said. "I told him one day, 'I had a life before the Army; I went to college.' Then he came back with, 'You're short.' "

Capt. Joel Edds, who recently returned from a 16-month tour in Afghanistan, said his brother, Jonathan, went to Iraq last winter and recently was selected to be a scout platoon leader, in charge of about 40 soldiers whom he led on reconnaissance missions. He was killed during the first week in his new position.

Other surviving family members include his mother, Julia, and his father, Barry, who is pastor of White Pigeon Church of Christ in White Pigeon, Mich.

From the Ledger Enquirer

Related Link:
Jonathan W. Edds of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire'