- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Jeremiah C. Hughes
Died April 9, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
26, of Jacksonville, Fla.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died April 9 in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related incident in Abu Gharab, Iraq.
Jacksonville soldier killed in Iraq
By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL — Teachers at Sandalwood High School remember graduate Jere Hughes, who died Wednesday in Iraq, as “one of the best” students they ever taught.
Army Specialist Jeremiah C. Hughes, 26, died April 9 in Balad, Iraq.
The Department of Defense says he died of “injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident” in Abu Gharab.
The incident remains under investigation.
Hughes, who went by “Jere,” graduated from Sandalwood High School in 1999.
Linda Cugini, who taught Hughes in her English class, remembered him as a witty, well-read, and very mature student. “He could have been teaching a class at his young age,” she said.
Hughes was “one of the best students” she ever taught, she said.
Physics teacher Jerry Langford remembers seeing Hughes in camouflage clothes even before he signed any military paperwork, and Langford saw the military as a natural fit for a young man with an analytical mind like Hughes’.
Despite never actually taking a class with Langford, Hughes would often come by the teacher’s room and show him designs for everything from motors to water pressure-powered rockets that Hughes had drawn up himself.
Langford said Hughes would ask for suggestions and study ways to improve his work.
According to his MySpace page, Hughes was married.
A blog post on Hughes’ MySpace page indicates he left for Iraq from his base in Hawaii in late 2007 or early 2008 for a 15-month tour of duty. He had been to Iraq before, according to the post.
A military release says Hughes served with the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
He joined the Army in July 1999, just weeks after his graduation from Sandalwood. He has been stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii since January 2000.
Army Spc. Jeremiah C. Hughes remembered
The Associated Press
Jeremiah C. Hughes was described as a strongly built, extremely smart man.
“He’s the kind of guy that if you were in a combat situation, you’d always want him beside you because he’d figure out his way out of anything,” said childhood friend Jonathan Story.
Hughes, 26, of Jacksonville, Fla., died April 9 in a non-combat-related incident in Abu Gharab. He was a 1999 high school graduate, a member of the ROTC program and was assigned to Schofield Barracks.
Hughes’ mother, father, and two brothers have served in the armed forces. “He would wear the camo sometimes just because he liked it,” said Jerry Langford, a physics teacher.
“You found yourself looking at him a lot because his eyes would light up as you were speaking,” said Linda Cugini, another teacher.
The TV show “24” was a favorite, and he “read just about anything, especially history and fantasy.” Among those interests were books on warfare.
Story said he will deeply miss his friend, whom he called a brother. “I’m sad that he’s gone,” Story said. “He was the most loyal friend a guy could ever have.”
He also is survived by his wife, Angie.