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- Operation Inherent Resolve
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- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Staff Sgt. James D. Bullard
Died October 30, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
28, of Marion, S.C.; assigned to the South Carolina National Guard's 1st Battalion, 263rd Armor Regiment, in Marion, S.C.; died Oct. 30 in Spearwan Ghar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using rocket-propelled grenade fire, machine gun fire, mortars and small-arms fire during combat operations.
S.C. Guard soldier, a new father, dies in combat in Afghanistan
By Susanne M. Schafer
The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A soldier who was home in September for the birth of his first child was killed this week by enemy fire in Afghanistan, family and officials said Oct. 31.
South Carolina Army National Guard Staff Sgt. James David Bullard, 28, died in Sperwan Ghar on his first tour of duty, according to his brother-in-law, Harold Caldwell.
“He was in for 11 years and he died doing what he loved,” Caldwell said in a telephone interview. “His family made him happy. He was a real good family guy.”
Bullard, of Marion, came home to be with his wife Amber, arriving two days before the birth of their son Kristopher Hayden Bullard, the brother-in-law said.
Bullard was sent to Afghanistan in January. His unit was due to return either in December or January.
Before being deployed on active duty, Bullard worked as a grocery manager for Food Lion in Dillon.
He was involved in JROTC at Marion High School and joined the Guard at age 17, his brother-in-law said.
He attended Florence-Darlington Technical College, Caldwell said.
He served with Company B of the 1-263rd Armor Battalion based in Dillon, according to a statement issued by the South Carolina National Guard.
“He was deeply committed to the cause of freedom and this belief led him to serve his state and country with honor and distinction,” Maj. Gen. Stan Spears, the state Adjutant General, said in the statement. “The S.C. Army National Guard will sorely miss this great American and we join his family and friends in mourning his passing.”
Bullard’s death marks the second South Carolina Guard soldier to die in Afghanistan in as many weeks.
Sgt. Edward Philpot, 38, of Latta, died Oct. 23 when his vehicle rolled over during a convoy operation northwest of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
Both soldiers were part of the 218th Combat Brigade Team from South Carolina sent to help train members of the Afghan Army and police. Some soldiers also have been embedded with Afghan units in the field.
The massive brigade was the largest single unit deployment by the South Carolina National Guard since World War II.
The unit is part of a five-year-old multinational effort designed to keep Afghanistan on the road to recovery following the U.S.-led military campaign that ousted Taliban militants in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Soldier killed in Afghanistan laid to rest
The Associated Press
MARION, S.C. — Staff Sgt. James David Bullard’s childhood hero was Superman. The South Carolina Army National Guard soldier wore a cape made from a towel as a kid and collected comic books starring the super hero as an adult.
And the final song played at his funeral Nov. 5 was the “Superman” theme.
Bullard, 28, died last week in Afghanistan. He was shot in Sperwan Ghar on his first tour of duty, according to his family. He served with Company B of the 1-263rd Armor Battalion based in Dillon. He was buried with full military honors at Little Bethel Baptist Church near Marion.
Like Clark Kent, Bullard could be mild-mannered. But he was ready for action whenever he was needed, said the Rev. Mike Watkins.
“Even as a young child, he wanted to right evil,” Watkins said.
Bullard was sent to Afghanistan in January, and returned home for two weeks in September for the birth of his first child. He leaves behind his wife Amber and 8-week-old Kristopher Hayden Bullard.
“David didn’t let life get him down,” Watkins said. “He enjoyed life. He was full of life.”
Bullard was the second South Carolina Guard soldier to die in Afghanistan in as many weeks.
Sgt. Edward Philpot, 38, of Latta, died Oct. 23 when his vehicle rolled vehicle during a convoy operation northwest of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
Both soldiers were part of the 218th Combat Brigade Team from South Carolina sent to help train members of the Afghan army and police. Some soldiers also have been embedded with Afghan units in the field.