Paratrooper, father, husband - Staff Sergeant John Doles had accomplished much in his life. He made the Airborne assault into northern Iraq in 2003 and wanted to join the Ranger Regiment once his current tour in Afghanistan was completed. The Stars & Stripes has more:
Italy-based soldier killed fighting Afghan insurgents
By Joseph Giordono, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, October 5, 2005
An Italy-based soldier assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment was killed last week in Afghanistan, military officials confirmed Tuesday.
Staff Sgt. John G. Doles, 29, died in Shah Wali during a battle with insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire on Sept. 30, officials said.
Doles, who leaves behind a wife and two small children, was a native of Claremore, Okla., according to the Pentagon. There was no information available Tuesday as to where or when a memorial service would be held at Vicenza’s Caserma Ederle, where the 508th is based. At least 13 soldiers from the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) have been killed in Afghanistan in the last 6½ months.
“Everybody’s concentrating on Iraq, which is understandable. But we’re still tracking down al-Qaida and trying to find bin Laden,” Gene Doles told the station.
Doles’ grandmother, Mattieann Kay, was the matriarch of a family that included 26 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. She remembered her grandson as a tough “all-American” kid.
“He wasn’t supposed to go yet — I was. He completed everything he ever started. Even fistfights,” she said, according to The Argus, a Bay Area paper in her California hometown of Fremont.
Doles was “able and fearless,” she recalled.
Family members told the paper a memorial service was planned for Oct. 11 in Chelsea, Okla.
So how do you combat a protest of a funeral - a protest protected by law?
Baldilocks sent this article about how the American Legion Riders fought back. Vets on motorcycles with a plan...
POSTED: 3:23 pm CDT October 11, 2005UPDATED: 6:52 pm CDT October 11, 2005
CHELSEA, Okla. -- An effort by members of a Kansas church to protest at the funeral of an Oklahoma soldier Tuesday was drowned out by the roar of motorcycles.
About 70 members of the American Legion Riders group from Oklahoma and Kansas revved their engines as five protesters from Westboro Baptist Church held inflammatory signs. The protesters say American soldiers are being killed because of homosexuality in the United States.
The protest took place as family members of Army Staff Sgt. John Doles gathered just down the street at a church for Doles' funeral. Doles, 29, of Chelsea, was killed Sept. 30 in an ambush in Afghanistan.
American Legion Riders' member Cregg Hanson said Doles' family asked the group to rev their motorcycle engines when the Kansas church group arrived.
The riders also formed a barrier and waved American flags to block the view of the protest.
About 40 police officers were also on hand and Chelsea residents joined the motorcycle riders in waving American flags.
"Thank you!" to the American Legion Riders for fighting for a Paratrooper who deserved to be laid to rest with dignity.