The US Army has determined that Pfc. David Jones Jr., from St. Johnsville — just south of the Adirondack Park — took his own life while serving in Afghanistan. This from the Utica Observer Dispatch.
Jones was a 2008 graduate of St. Johnsville High School and joined the Army in October 2009. After his death, his body was flown to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome on Nov. 4 and then escorted in a procession to his hometown of St. Johnsville.
A military funeral at St. John’s Reformed Church on Nov. 6 was followed by burial at West St. Johnsville Cemetery.
This is an issue that our own David Sommerstein has covered. A recent report by one of our sister public radio stations in Washington state traced the impact of high suicide rates at a military base in their community. This from KUOW.
50 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord have killed themselves since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq . Some committed suicide on-base, others off and still others while deployed overseas.
Meanwhile, the family of David Jones are disputing the Army’s suicide determination and have alleged that he was murdered by a fellow soldier, a claim the military rejects. Read more about that in the Albany Times Union.