Family remembers a local fallen soldier
PHILADELPHIA - July 8, 2010 (WPVI) -- The American flag is draped over the railing at 1454 West Sparks Street as relatives gather to remember Private First Class David A. Jefferson, an Army Combat Medic assigned to 101st Airborne, at Fort Campbell.
David Jefferson had been in Afghanistan only one month.
He died last Friday, after his patrol encountered an IED in the intensely violent area of Kandahar.
His older brother, William, remembers him as the "good sibling."
"I was the bad one, he was often the brunt of many practical jokes, that always been the case, as we got older his cool factor, completely exceeded my cool factor," William said.
David's grandmother, Mildred, can't remember anyone meeting him not liking him.
"He was a good-natured person and he would do anything for ya," Mildred said.
David's father, James Lyles, served 30 years in the Army and fought in Vietnam. He knew better than most the danger his youngest son faced.
"It hurts. You are at a point that you have never been in your life. This is not a dead-end street or a road that you can turn back off of," James said.
David's mother also served in the Army; she died of lung cancer in February, the last time David was home.
That's when he married the mother of his 2-year-old son, Ian. She has chosen to grieve in private. The family marvels at the strong resemblance between Ian and David.
David's dad is thankful for how this most difficult time for his family was handled by the military.
"I want to give them high marks from the time I was notified to the time I got to Dover," James said. "The team the Army has put together has been nothing but fantastic."
David Jefferson's father and other loved ones will be happy to learn that Washington is spending $3-billion for mine-resistant vehicles and surveillance blimps to combat the threat from roadside bombs in Afghanistan.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, afghanistan, local/state
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