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Army Sgt. Jonnie L. Stiles

Died November 13, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

38, of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; assigned to the 927th Engineer Company (Sapper), 769th Engineer Battalion, Louisiana Army National Guard, Baton Rouge, La.; died Nov. 13 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Soldier from Highlands Ranch dies in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

DENVER — A Colorado soldier has died after being wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, military officials said Saturday.

The Defense Department said Spc. Jonnie Stiles, 38, of Highlands Ranch was wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He died Thursday in Jalalabad of his injuries.

He had been assigned to the Louisiana Army National Guard, serving in the 927th Engineer Company in the 769th Engineer Battalion.

Louisiana National Guard spokesman Maj. Michael Kazmierzak said Stiles had been serving as a gunner on a Humvee doing route clearance when the blast occurred. He said the job typically involves checking roads for bombs and insurgents.

Stiles’ wife, Launa, said that he was nearly killed last month when a suicide bomber blew up a military vehicle in front of his. She said he was still able to rescue three other soldiers and returned to duty before his 30-day recovery period was finished.

“He was strong and really cared for his men,” she said.

Stiles was born in Bartlesville, Okla., and graduated from Littleton High School in Colorado. He served in the military for 17 years, first joining the Marines and then switching to the Army in 1999.

Stiles served three years at Fort Carson, left the Army and then returned as a member of the Colorado Air National Guard last summer. Kazmierzak said Stiles had asked to be transferred to the Louisiana National Guard.

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