Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

James C Kearney III

Emerson, Iowa

November 1, 2004

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
22 Army Sgt

Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry

Glenwood, Iowa

Died in Salerno, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained in Sharan, Afghanistan, when his convoy was attacked by enemy forces using rocket propelled grenades.

James joined Company B (Wolfpack), 1-168th Infantry, Iowa National Guard, in his junior year of high school. James completed his basic training during the summer and went to his AIT after he graduated from Nishna Valley Community High School in May of 2001. 

James’ unit was activated in February 2004 for Operation Enduring Freedom. After extensive special training the unit arrived in Afghanistan the end of May. James’ section was sent to Sharan in the Paktika Province. 

James made frequent use of today’s technology. It was not unusual to receive emails with pictures, CD’s of photo albums or mini movies, and of course, phone calls. He would call anyone (family, friends, teachers, etc.) to get and send news. You could always hear the smile in his voice, even if he happened to have a complaint. James would make calls as often as three times a week!

After the heat of summer (and the endless dust) and the cold of the coming winter, all in tents, James was looking forward to moving into the new barracks at the Sharan PRT.

Unfortunately, while manning the heavy weapons turret of the lead vehicle in a convoy November 1, 2004 near the Pakistan border, James was killed in action as they came under attack in a well coordinated and highly concentrated ambush. He was 22.

The Sharan PRT Grand Opening Ceremony was scheduled for November 21, 2004. At that time the base was officially named Kearney Base.

“...Kearney was a great soldier and a great American whose love for country and his fellow soldiers was well known. He will be deeply missed.”, from Wolfpack newsletter.

James was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant, received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star as well as other awards.

James enjoyed hunting, video games, hanging out with friends, and being a Guardsman. Prior to his units’ activation, James was employed by Red Oak Die Casting.

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