Italy-based soldier killed fighting Afghan insurgents
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.
Doles’ father told a local Oklahoma television station that his son planned to join the Army Rangers when his tour in Afghanistan was over. John Doles was part of the 173rd Airborne’s combat drop into northern Iraq in March 2003, and was serving his first tour in Afghanistan.
“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.