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Kinnelon Soldier, 22, Killed in Afghanistan

Specialist Jonathan Batista died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

A U.S. Army soldier from 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 (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 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.

Adam Barish July 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM
May he rest in peace. The ultimate Patriot. My thanks, my adoration, my sadness.
tracy jk July 09, 2012 at 09:36 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Councilman Jim Freda July 09, 2012 at 10:01 PM
On behalf of the Mayor and Council of Kinnelon, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the Batista and Gaston Family. Our community's thoughts and prayers will be with your family. The magnitude of your family's sacrifice will be forever held in the hearts of this town.
Mike Simpson July 09, 2012 at 11:45 PM
On Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:45am, our team of active-duty military will be running 1 mile to Honor and Remember Spec. Jonathon Batista - Rest in Peace Hero... Our deepest condolences to family and friends... http://www.njrunforthefallen.org/spc-jonathon-batista.html
JJ July 10, 2012 at 01:40 AM
So sorry for the loss of another young brave American. May he rest in peace.
Flo Gallo July 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Our deepest sympathy to the Gaston and Batista family...
David Chipkin July 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM
God bless Jonathon Batista. His sacrifice will never be forgotten. I pray for his family and friends.
David Chipkin July 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM
In honor of Spc. Jonathan Batista, I have directed my company to fly our American flag at half-mast for the remainder of the week.
eileen gelenter July 10, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Our deepest sympathy to the family of Spc. Batista. and our thanks for his service. eileen and Sy Gelenter
Clifford Giantonio July 10, 2012 at 02:21 PM
God Bless Spc. Batista. We thank him for his service and sacrifice. My deepest condolences to his family. In your sadness, be proud of his ultimate sacrifice.
Tim July 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I can only honor and respect his sacrifice to let people all over the world know what the freedom we have here in the USA is like and wanting others to have the same opportunity also! God bless you!
Jeremy Schablik July 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Thank you Jonathan for being a brave & fearless soldier, and a kind & warm fellow human. You are a true hero and we will always speak of you in the highest regards of both family and patriotism. What a truly great man you are; I promise to support your family in a way that honors your own loyal values.
GK July 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM
God Bless Him.
VietNam Vet July 16, 2012 at 04:58 AM
As a Viet Nam veteran, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and may the Lord give you comfort knowing he took good care of his men and they thought very highly of him. Thank you for you service to our country.

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