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Kentucky soldier killed in Afghanistan mourned

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A U.S. Army soldier from Louisville who
was killed this month in Afghanistan was remembered Saturday as a
caring son, brother and friend.
Sgt. Adam J. Ray, 23, was buried in Evergreen Cemetery after a
two-hour funeral held at Okolona Christian Church.
He died Feb. 9 from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive
device detonated in southern Afghanistan. He was assigned to the
4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat
Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He was assigned to Joint Base
Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The Courier-Journal reported that Ray wrote on his MySpace page
that while it was nice to be called a hero because of his military
service, he thought the real compliment was when he was compared to
his father, who attended West Point and was now a minister.
Despite his accomplishments as a soldier, family and friends
spent more time recalling the everyday gifts he gave to those
around him, like running to the store to satisfy his pregnant
sister's cravings for chocolate ice cream.
His parents no longer live in Louisville, but the family spent a
decade there and much of his extended family still lives in the
area.
The Army posthumously promoted Ray from a specialist to a
sergeant and he also earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Gen. Jon Miller served with Ray's father, Jim, while at West
Point 32 years ago.
Miller said Jim Ray told him that his son "was a young man who
always stood up in the face of aggression," and who had always
wanted to be a soldier.
A letter from his sister, Amanda, was read during the service.
She wrote that he supported her through "broken hearts, bad
boyfriends, bad friends and bad choices."
Sgt. David Jones said he was with Ray the day he was wounded in
Afghanistan. He said he never expected it would be the last time he
would see his friend alive.
Ray was chatty and joking even though he was hurt, Jones said,
and he gave a thumbs-up as he was loaded into a helicopter.
"To Adam, hopefully I'll live my life correctly, one way or
another, and get to see you again," Jones said.
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Information from: The Courier-Journal,
http://www.courier-journal.com

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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