Kinnelon Soldier, 22, Killed in Afghanistan
Specialist Jonathan Batista died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
A U.S. Army soldier from Kinnelon was killed Sunday in Zharay in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
Specialist Jonathan Batista, 22, was attacked, along with his unit, by enemy forces with small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense. At the time, he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Batista was assigned to the 2nd Batallian, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C., according to the Department of Defense.
Batista is a recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal and several other honors.
"Jon was a devoted son, a caring brother, a Paratrooper dedicated to the safety and security of his Infantry team, and a newlywed. As a soldier, he represented the qualities and values that make our nation great. Jon served his platoon as a mine detector operator and cleared their path as they patrolled throughout the farmland of Zharay. Their safety was his priority. His courage bolstered theirs and endeared him to his Platoon," said Lt. Col. Phillip Raymond, Batista's Batallion commander.
"The Battalion extends their deepest condolences to his family and is humbled by their son's commitment, service and sacrifice."
According to his obituary, Batista is remembered as having a "charismatic personality."
Viewing hours will be held Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Magnificat Church (OLM) in Kinnelon after his relatives hold a one-hour viewing for close family members and friends only.
Leading to the church, tri-boro residents in several municipalities have been asked to line the shoulders of Kinnelon Road Sunday at between 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. as the hearse carrying Batista's body passes down the street.
A funeral service will be held at OLM Monday at 10:30 a.m. with burial to follow.