James Alan Justice
April 23, 2011
Killed in Kapisa province, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
|Staff Sgt. James Justice
June 30, 1978 - April 23, 2011
James Alan, son of Larry and Lillian (Gunnlaugsson) Justice, was born June 30, 1978 in Manning, Carroll County, IA. He lived with his family in Manilla. James was baptized on August 17, 1978 at Zion Lutheran Church in Manning with Larry and Jeanie Young serving as sponsors. Later he was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Manilla. James attended school in Manilla and while in high school enjoyed participating in football, baseball and track. In 1997 James graduated from Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla High School. He enlisted as an Infantryman in Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, Iowa Army National Guard in September 1998 at Denison and completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Benning, GA in May 1999. James deployed to Operation Desert Spring (Kuwait) in 2001, the Multinational Force Observer peacekeeping mission (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt) in 2003-2004, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006. He came from a proud family of patriots. A distant relative has documented that seven of James’ ancestors fought in the War of 1812 and eight fought in the Civil War, as well as many in other conflicts.
On April 17, 2009 James was united in marriage with Amanda Jo Sand at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes. They made their home in Grimes and were the parents of one daughter. Prior to his mobilization to Afghanistan, he was employed full-time by the Iowa National Guard at Camp Dodge, Johnston. When not working with the Guard, he loved to spend time with his daughter and his dog Kinnick. He could often be found tinkering around the house and cooking for his family. James was an avid Iowa Hawkeye and Minnesota Vikings football fan. In his spare time, he liked to golf and hang-out with his friends, as well as work on tractors with his dad. James was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes and a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3517 in Manning.
James volunteered for duty in Afghanistan in early 2011 to be with his unit because he loved his country and felt that is where he should be. After completing a routine security patrol at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, word was received of a downed OH-58 Kiowa helicopter in the neighboring Kapisa province north east of Kabul. James and some of his fellow soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard’s Alpha Troop 1st Squadron 113th Cavalry boarded a UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter to rescue the two man crew of the downed helicopter. After their craft landed the group came under small arms fire. James was killed at the site on Saturday, April 23, 2011. He was 32 years, 9 months and 24 days of age. James was escorted home to Iowa from Dover AFB by OC Alan Schmeckpepper.
James is preceded in death by his grandparents Kenneth and Katherine Justice and Maynard and Nora Gunnlaugsson, brother-in-law Lyle Christensen, and aunt Alta and her husband Merlin Nulle.
He is survived by his wife Amanda Justice and three-year-old daughter Caydence Justice of Grimes; parents Larry and Lillian Justice of Manilla; brother Kenneth Justice of Manilla; sisters Denise Christensen of Manilla and Christina Lingle (Kevin) of Manilla; nephew Doug Ridgley (Sarah) of Omaha and their children Emirsann and Elliette; nieces: Stephanie Ahrenholtz (Justin) of Manilla; Jessica Lingle (Alisa) of Manilla; Katie Lingle of Manilla; Rebecca Lingle of Manilla; Tonya (Shane)Darnell of Elrino, OK and Jamie (Justin) Chronister of Elrino, OK; parents-in-law Bill and Sue Sand of Eau Claire, WI; brothers-in-law: Bob Buckli of Eau Claire, WI; Tim Buckli (Kacee) of Omaha, NE; sisters-in-law Amy Buckli-Loew (Clyde) of Chetek, WI; Annie Luer (Tony) of Fall Creek, WI; grandparents-in-law Archie and Carol Sand of Eau Claire, WI; aunts, uncle, other relatives and many friends.
Chaplain MAJ Gary Selof, Officiating
Jessica Fine, Eulogy
Jeremy Vennink, Judy Erb, & Tyler Christianson,
“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" ~ Boyz II Men
“I Will Remember You” ~ Anya Paulette, Vocalist
“Amazing Grace” ~ Bagpipes
"Proud to be an American" ~ Lee Greenwood
MAJ Jason Erb
SGT Andrew Bauer
SGT Robbie Rushton
SSG Phillip Edwards
SSG Shane Pankonen
SSG Nicholas Harvey
SPC Matthew O’Connor
Interment with Military Honors at a later date
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
|From Red Bull Rising redbullrising.com 04/24/11:
Iowa Red Bull Soldier Killed in Kapisa Province
Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, 32, of Grimes, Iowa, was killed approximately 10 a.m. Sat., April 23 when the helicopter-borne Quick Reaction Force (Q.R.F.) of which he was a member came under small-arms fire in Afghanistan's Kapisa Province. The small force had been attempting to secure the crash site of a 2-person OH-58 "Kiowa" scout helicopter assigned to another U.S. Army unit. Also injured in the attack was Spc. Zachary H. Durham, 21, of Des Moines. Both are members to Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment (1-113th Cav.), an Iowa National Guard unit headquartered in Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
The 1-113th Cav. is part of the 3,000-soldier deployment to Afghanistan of the Iowa National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT). As "Task Force Red Bulls," most of the 2-34th BCT is responsible for helping the Afghan government, military, and police secure the provinces of Parwan, Panjshir, and Laghman, as well as portions of others. Some units deployed with 2-34th BCT deployed have been assigned under other task forces and other provinces, but Kapisa is not one of them.
Coalition forces operating in Eastern Afghanistan, to include Task Force Red Bulls, are assigned under the active-duty Army's 101st Airborne Division, which operates as "Combined Joint Task Force-101" (C.J.T.F.-101). According to the CJTF-101 website, Kapisa Province is the responsibility of Task Force La Fayette, comprising French coalition forces.
According to Iowa National Guard officials at a Sunday night press conference at Camp Dodge, the Alpha Troop soldiers had earlier conducted a patrol in the Parwan security zone surrounding Bagram Air Field ("BAF"), when CJTF-101 requested soldiers to immediately secure a Kiowa scout helicopter that had made a "hard landing" in Kapisa Province. The cause of that landing is still under investigation. The Iowa soldiers were assigned the QRF mission because they were "readily available" at Bagram Air Field, said Iowa National Guard spokesman Col. Greg Hapgood.
While guard officials were unable to characterize either the type of weapons or the intensity of the attack that killed Justice and injured Durham, they did say that Justice died at the scene. After the QRF traveled from Bagram to the crash site via UH-60 "Blackhawk" helicopters, landed, and came under attack, "pathfinders" trained in establishing landing zones were dispatched from 101st Airborne Division and inserted into an area south of the crash site. Air Force pararescuemen were also dispatched and inserted near or onto the site.
According to Iowa guard officials, a U.S. Air Force A-10 "Warthog" and additional armed U.S. Army Kiowa helicopters arrived to eliminate the immediate enemy threat. Justice was reportedly killed and Durham wounded while moving off their landing zone, which at the time was considered "hot" and still under fire. Durham has since been evacuated to Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Air Field. His injuries were not specified by officials.
Justice is a 13-year veteran of the Iowa National Guard, and deployed to Afghanistan with the 2-34th BCT only last February. "One of his goals was to get on this deployment," said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Schaefer at Sunday evening's press conference. "He wanted to get into the fight." Prior to mobilization, he was employed full-time by the Iowa National Guard, and Schaefer had been his supervisor. Schaefer described Justice as level-headed, hard-working, and easy to talk with. "He had an ability to lead soldiers and have them follow."
Justice had previously deployed to Kuwait (2001), Egypt's Sinai Peninsula (2003-2004), and Iraq (2005-2006).
Justice is survived by his wife, Amanda Jo, and a 3-year-old daughter Caydence Lillian, of Grimes; his father and mother, Larry and Lillian Justice, brother Kenny Justice, sisters Denise Christensen and Christy (Kevin) Lingle of Manilla.
A family statement released via the Iowa National Guard reads in part:
James Alan Justice meant many things to every person he encountered. He was the funny best friend named "Juice" that could be counted on when needing to be cheered up; the uncle who always knew just what to say and when to hand out hugs; the son who was his parents' pride and joy; the father who loved his little girl more than anything in the world and couldn't wait to have more children; and the husband who loved to put a smile on his wife's face.
Funeral arrangements for Justice are pending.
Earlier this month, two other Iowa National Guard "Red Bull" soldiers were killed and others wounded in separate combat incidents, and in different Afghan provinces.
|From NBC 13 WHO whotv.com 09/15/12:
OPERATION JUSTICE: Hero Workout For Fallen Soldier
POSTED 1:57 PM, SEPTEMBER 15, 2012, BY JANNAY TOWNE
A Grimes soldier killed in action last year was remembered Saturday. Operation Justice isn’t your typical tribute, but it honors SSG James Justice with a hero workout at CrossFit 515.
“It’s a workout program, constantly varied, functional movement performed at a high intensity,” explains owner Jaime Noyce.
Today’s workout included dead lifts, rope climbs, bear crawls, and running with a sandbag. The mission: do as many reps as you can in 20 minutes.
“Just glad someones out here remembering the fallen soldiers and supporting them in any way that they can. It’s a pretty big deal to come out and remember your fallen,” says Jessica Lingle.
Justice was her uncle. The 32-year-old was killed in Afghanistan when his unit came under enemy fire while trying to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter.
“You never forget about him. It’s just really great that people are out here,” says Lingle.
The 70 CrossFitters who signed up to work out are raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“You always kinda feel during those workouts like you don’t know how you’re going to make it for those 20 minutes, but then you think about those people you’re memorializing and it doesn’t seem so bad all of a sudden,” says Leann Gudenkauf.
“We’re incredibly happy with the turnout. We didn’t know what to expect having never done something like this before, but I mean, the CrossFit community is great so we should have expected great things and that’s what we got,” says Noyce.
Before today’s event, CrossFit 515 had already raised $1300 for the Wounded Warrior Project. The gym should have a final donation count later this week.
|From The Gazette thegazette.com 04/24/11:
Iowa soldier killed, another hurt in Afghanistan
JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — A soldier from Grimes has become the third Iowan to die this month in Afghanistan, military officials confirmed Sunday.
Staff Sgt. James Justice, 32, of Grimes, died Saturday of wounds suffered in an insurgent attack in Kapisa province, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense. His unit came under small arms fire.
Wounded in the attack was Spc. Zachary Durham, 21, of Des Moines. Both Soldiers were assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
Justice was among four deaths confirmed Sunday by military officials. Soldiers from Texas, New Jersey and New Mexico were killed Friday in Afghanistan.
"One thing James was to everyone was the ultimate soldier. He loved the military and he looked forward to every deployment," the Justice family said in a released statement. "While we were stunned and extremely saddened to learn of his tragic death, we all take solace knowing that James died doing what he loved best: serving his country beside the men and women he revered and trusted."
Judy Erb, whose son Jason was a close friend of Justice's, told The Des Moines Register that Justice welcomed helping others and enjoyed making people laugh.
"He would have never thought for a moment about helping someone out. He would always just jump in," Erb said.
She added, "He's a hero, just like all those other boys over there."
The attack that killed Justice and injured Durham happened during a rescue operation of a U.S. Army helicopter crew who were injured when their aircraft made a hard landing. Justice and Durham responded to the scene as members of a Quick Reaction Force and came under fire from enemy forces at the crash site, according the military.
Justice died at the scene and Durham was evacuated for medical treatment. No additional information is available regarding Durham’s condition or medical status.
"The outpouring of support and prayers during this time from friends, fellow soldiers and strangers alike has been astonishing, but proved what we all knew: that James was a one-of-a-kind guy and deeply loved by all who had the opportunity to know him and serve with him," the Justice family statement said.
About 2,800 Iowa soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan. Justice was the third killed there in recent weeks, and several others were hurt.
Spc. Brent Maher, 31, of Honey Creek, died when the vehicle in which he was a gunner was hit by the bomb April 11 in Paktia province. Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack. All four soldiers were with the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry based in Shenandoah.
A few days later, on April 13, Spc. Donald Nichols, 31, of Shell Rock, was killed and another Iowa soldier injured in a similar incident in Laghman province. Both were members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry based in Wahoo.
Funerals for Maher and Nichols were held in Iowa during the past few days.
|CAMP DODGEJOHNSTON, IOWAApril 24, 20119 P.M.
IOWA NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
The Iowa National Guard regrets to announce the death of Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, 32, of Grimes, Iowa. Justice was killed by enemy small arms fire during combat operations on Saturday,April 23, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan at approximately 10 a.m., local Afghanistan time.Wounded in the attack was Spc. Zachary Durham, 21, of Des Moines, Iowa. Both Soldiers wereassigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.The attack happened during rescue operations of a U.S. Army OH-58 helicopter crew who wereinjured when their aircraft made a hard landing in Alah Say District, Kapisa Province,Afghanistan. Justice and Durham responded to the scene as members of a Quick Reaction Force
(“QRF”) and came under fire fro
m enemy forces at the crash site. Justice died at the scene andDurham was evacuated to Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan for
medical treatment. No additional information is available regarding Durham’s condition or
medical status. The cause of the helicopter crash is unknown at this time and under investigation.James A. Justice was born June 30, 1978 in Manning, Iowa and graduated from Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla High School in 1997. Justice enlisted as an Infantryman in Company C, 1st Battalion,168th Infantry, Iowa Army National Guard in September 1998 at Denison, Iowa and completedBasic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Benning, Ga. in May 1999. Hepreviously deployed to Operation Desert Spring (Kuwait) in 2001, the Multinational ForceObserver peacekeeping mission (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt) in 2003-2004, and Operation IraqiFreedom in 2005-2006.Prior to his mobilization, he was employed full-time by the Iowa NationalGuard at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.Justice was part of the approximately 2,800 members of the 2
Brigade Combat Team, 34thInfantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. These Iowa Soldiers reported to their mobilizationstation at Camp Shelby, Miss. in July 2010 for additional training and preparation beforedeparting for the Afghanistan theater of operations. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in November2010, where the Soldiers provide full-spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethaland non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance tohumanitarian relief initiatives.
IOWA NATIONAL GUARD
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IOWA NATIONAL GUARD
He is survived by his wife, Amanda Jo, and daughter, Caydence Lillian, of Grimes; his father andmother, Larry and Lillian Justice, brother Kenny Justice, sisters Denise Christensen and Christy(Kevin) Lingle, nieces Stephanie (Justin) Ahrenholtz, Jessica Lingle, Katie Lingle and BeccaLingle, all of Manilla; nephew Doug (Sarah) Ridgley and great-nieces, Emiry and Elli Ridgley,all of Omaha; his dog, Kinnick; and a myriad of friends and family. Justice was preceded in deathby his maternal grandparents, Maynard and Nora Gunnlaugsson; paternal grandparents, Kennethand Katie Justice; and his best buddy, his dog Kado.The family of Staff Sgt. James A. Justice issued the following statement:
“James Alan Justice meant many things to every person he encountered. He was the funny best
friend named "Juice" that could be counted on when needing to be cheered up; the uncle whoalways knew just what to say and when to hand out hugs; the son who was his parents pride and joy; the father who loved his little girl more than anything in the world and couldn't wait to havemore children; and the husband who loved to put a smile on his wife's face. One thing James wasto everyone was the ultimate soldier. He loved the military and he looked forward to everydeployment. While we were stunned and extremely saddened to learn of his tragic death, we alltake solace knowing that James died doing what he loved best: serving his country beside themen and women he revered and trusted.Through his four tours of duty, James had many accomplishments but above all, he made life-long friendships. The outpouring of support and prayers during this time from friends, fellowSoldiers and strangers alike has been astonishing, but proved what we all knew: that James wasa one-of-a-kind guy and deeply loved by all who had the opportunity to know him and serve withhim. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Iowa National Guard for theopportunities they have provided to James over the past 13 years. Additionally, we would like toacknowledge all of his fellow Iowa National Guard Soldiers both at home and serving overseas. May God be with you always.We are sure that you can understand and will honor our request for family privacy at this time, aswe are focused on working with military officials to return James' body home for military serviceand burial. We thank you for your thoughts, prayers and kindness at this extremely difficult time.We are deeply saddened by our loss, but extremely proud of the honorable way he served America as a leader in the U.S. Army. We will remember him, his strength, his infectious sense of humor, his faith in God, and his love for his family, friends and country w
ith great pride.”
Funeral arrangements are pending and details will be provided as they become available. TheJustice family asks that their privacy be respected at this time. Media representatives may contactthe Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Office for additional information.-----
1 Iowan killed, 1 injured in attack in Afghanistan
|From The DesMoines Register desmoinregister.com
Childhood friend recalls fallen guardsman
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