By Tim Woerner / Staff Writer
A Kentucky National Guard soldier in Iraq was found dead in his quarters Tuesday night (Wednesday at 6 a.m. local time), guard officials said Thursday. An investigation is underway, but officials said the death was not combat-related.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Jason Jones, 29, died Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006 in Baghdad. Jones was assigned as a medic to the 149th Brigade Combat Team Headquarters. The unit, comprised of 50 soldiers, deployed to Iraq earlier this year and has teams stationed in Iraq.
Jones father, Col. Charles T. Jones is also a full-time employee of the Kentucky Army National Guard and the Brigade Commander of the 149th BCT. Col. Jones was serving in Tikrit, Iraq at the time of his son’s death.
Sgt. Jones joined the Kentucky National Guard in 1993 at 17 years old and graduated from South Laurel High School in London in 1994. He was a veteran of prior deployments to Germany and Bosnia in 2002 and Afghanistan in 2004. Prior to deploying to Iraq, he was stationed full-time in Frankfort.
A resident of Lawrenceburg, Sgt. Jones was a decorated soldier, holding the Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal.
He is survived by his parents, Col. Jones and Linda Jones.
“The death of Sgt. 1st Class Jones is a tragedy for our Kentucky National Guard family,” said Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, Adjutant General for Kentucky. “Sgt. Jones was a soldier who stood up to be counted every time his nation called. The Jones family is in our prayers as we will continue to support them in their time of grief.”
Gov. Ernie Fletcher directed all state office buildings to lower flags to half-staff Thursday in honor of Jones. They will remain at half-staff throughout the state until sunset on the day of Jones’ funeral, the date of which has yet to be determined.
Jones is the 12th member of the Kentucky National Guard to die in Iraq.
“This is a terrible loss for the Kentucky Guard and for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Fletcher said. “It is especially heartbreaking for the family of Sgt. 1st Class Jones. I personally met with his father, Col. Charlie Jones, prior to their deployment and as a parent I can only imagine the grief he and his wife feel with the loss of a son. The First Lady and I pray for Col. Jones and his entire family, in hope that they find the strength to get through this trying time in their lives.”
By Tim Woerner / Staff Writer
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