Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the dignified transfer of Columbus-native U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathon Hunter at Dover Air Force Base with second lady Karen Pence: “Karen and I join the Columbus community and every American in honoring the service and mourning the passing of a courageous American, Sergeant Jonathon Hunter. Sgt. Hunter was a proud Hoosier and an American hero — and his legacy will ever be enshrined in our hearts. Our prayers will be with Sgt. Hunter’s wife Whitney, his parents, his brother Marcus, and all of his loved ones and friends.”

Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb: “Words will never convey the sorrow that Janet and I feel for the loss of Sgt. Jonathan Michael Hunter, an Army sergeant and Columbus, Indiana native killed in a NATO convoy attack in Afghanistan. We offer our prayers for his family and friends and ask all Hoosiers to honor his selfless service to our country.”

Col. Toby Magsig, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, the “Devil” Brigade, on the deaths of Sgt. Jonathon M. Hunter and Specialist Christopher M. Harris: “Sgt. Jonathon Hunter was the leader we all want to work for — strong, decisive, compassionate, and courageous. He was revered by his Paratroopers and respected throughout his unit. Chris and Jon lived and died as warriors. They will always be a part of the legacy of the Devil Brigade and their memory lives on in the hearts and minds of their fellow Paratroopers. Our thoughts and prayers are centered on the families and loved ones of these two great Americans.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: “Prayers are w/ family & friends of Spc. Christopher Harris & Sgt. Jonathon Hunter whose lives were lost in Afghanistan.”

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.