U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathon M. Hunter is the latest person with Columbus ties to demonstrate the ultimate meaning of service and sacrifice to the United States.
Hunter, 23, a 2011 Columbus East High School graduate, died Aug. 2 when a suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan killed him and another U.S. soldier.
Hunter had been in the Army a little more than three years, finding in it a way of life he loved and at which he excelled. Hunter was just a month into his first deployment when he was killed.
Others from Columbus also have fallen in the battle against terrorism.
•U.S. Marine Sgt. Jeremy McQueary, 27, a 2002 East graduate, was killed Feb. 18, 2010 in Afghanistan while searching for improvised explosive devices.
•Cpl. John C. Bishop, 25, a 2003 North grad, died Sept. 8, 2010 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan while serving with the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines when his company was ambushed while on patrol.
Hunter, McQueary and Bishop are the most recent military members with local ties who gave selflessly of themselves. Each year at Memorial Day during a service near the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, a long list of names is read of service members who thought first of protecting their country and its freedoms, and ultimately sacrificing their lives for that cause. Those names and the wars in which they fought stretch back more than a century.
Hunter’s death is the latest reminder that the sacrifices of all of them should be remembered and appreciated. Doing so helps ensure that their legacies of service are properly honored.