May 4, 2011

A Few Quiet Words on Justice

From Red Bull Rising by Charlie Sherpa -
Today is the funeral of Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, 32, killed April 23 in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, during a mission to secure the crash site of a downed U.S. Army scout helicopter.

I knew Justice, although not well. We worked alongside each other last summer at Camp Shelby, Miss. Each of us was a non-deploying soldier assigned to help the Iowa National Guard mobilize 3,000 troops of 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division. We were to help get them out the door to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and onward to Afghanistan.

In September or October, we'd each subsequently gone off to different assignments back in Iowa. I eventually retired from uniformed service. Justice somehow managed to volunteer to re-join the Red Bull. He was assigned to Iowa's 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment (1-113th Cav.). The unit had been in Afghanistan since November. Justice arrived in February.

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