Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

James Anthony Ayube II

Salem, Massachusetts

December 8, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army Sgt

3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment

Vilseck, German

 Killed in Balkh province, Afghanistan, when an insurgent attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

From Corpsman.com 12/12/10:

Sgt. James A. Ayube, II, US ARMY, (Medic) KIA 08 DEC 2010 in Afghanistan

December 12, 2010 by Da-Chief 

Our hearts and prayers go out to Sgt Ayube’s family, fellow Soldiers, and friends….D/C

The widow of a Salem soldier yesterday wept as she prepared to escort her young husband’s body home from Delaware last night, remembering the man who served with pride and gave her the “best years” of her life.

“My husband died doing what he loved,” Lauren Elizabeth Ayube said about Army Sgt. James A. Ayube Jr., who was killed Wednesday by a suicide bomber during a combat mission in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. “He was proud of being a soldier and that he provided for his family through what he did. He felt it was his duty to serve and wanted to finish the war with his guys to make sure everyone got home OK.”

Ayube’s widow and father, James Sr., were to return from Dover Air Force Base last night, where the military conducted an autopsy before releasing Ayube’s remains.

Ayube, 25, was a combat medic with Company H, 2nd Stryker, Cavalry Regiment from the Rose Barrack in Vilseck, Germany.

Lauren Ayube met her husband when she was 18 and he was a 19-year-old student at Bunker Hill Community College, where he earned a degree in sociology. They were married two years later.

“I only had four years with him,” she said. “But they were the best four years of my life.”

She last saw James in late June before he was deployed to Afghanistan — but they Skyped every morning and night.

“Even though we were miles apart, we started and ended our days together,” she said. “I talked to him the morning he died. I was falling asleep, but we talked for 15 minutes. He said ‘I love you, babe.’ And the last time I saw his face he was smiling.”

A 2003 graduate of Salem High School, Ayube is also survived by his mother, Christina, his twin brother, Alex, and his sister, Ashleigh.

Yesterday, the North Shore city flew its flags at half-staff.

“It’s a devastating loss to the town,” said Salem City Councilor Michael Sosnowski, the Ayube twins’ old scoutmaster. “Bottom line, we lost a really good young man. This hits home.”

The family plans to bury Ayube in Salem next week.

According to relatives, he had six months left on his tour when he was killed and was looking forward to coming home and the possibility of having kids with his wife.

“It was his dream to have children,” said Lauren Ayube, 24. “I thought we were too young, but started opening up to the idea. I wished there was more time. It’s my one regret.”

Army medic killed by suicide bomber

The Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. — An Army medic and former Boy Scout killed in Afghanistan is being remembered for his friendly demeanor and for being a champion of the underdog.

The city’s veterans agent, Jean-Guy Martineau, confirmed the death of Sgt. James Ayube Jr., 25, of Salem on Dec. 9. The Defense Department confirmed it Dec. 10.

Family members told The Salem News on Dec. 9 that Ayube died at the hands of a suicide bomber Dec. 8 while on a combat mission.

Ayube, a 2003 graduate of Salem High School, was assigned to Company H, 2nd Stryker, Cavalry Regiment, Rose Barracks, in Vilseck, Germany.

He leaves behind his wife, his parents, a brother and a sister.

Martineau says memorial and funeral plans are pending.
Posthumously awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart

The Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. — An Army medic killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan was remembered in his hometown.

Mourners filled St. James Church for the Dec. 18 funeral of Sgt. James Ayube, 25, who was killed Dec. 8 while on foot patrol in Kandahar province.

Ayube posthumously received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal and Combat Medical Badge. His burial followed at Harmony Grove Cemetery.

Ayube graduated from Salem High School in 2003. He leaves his parents, James and Christina Ayube; and his wife, Lauren. 
From The Salem News salemnews.com 12/16/10:

Sgt. James A. Ayube II, 25
SALEM — Sgt. James Anthony Ayube II, 25, died Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 in Balkh province, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked his unit on patrol. James was assigned to the Third Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany.

James was born April 29, 1985 at Wright Patterson AFB while his father was stationed there. He was the son of James and Christina Ayube. He married wife Lauren in January 2008. James and his family moved to Salem in 1989. He graduated Salem High School in 2003. He earned an associate degree in sociology from Bunker Hill Community College in Boston in 2007, before enlisting in the Army in June 2007.

He was a parishioner of St. James Church in Salem where he was baptized and confirmed. He was a proud member of Boy Scout Troop 24 in Salem.

James loved life. From the moment he could crawl as a baby, he was on the run and never stopped, always trying to live his life to the fullest. He was a caring, thoughtful person. He always tried to solve whatever problem his family or friends had. But he was not perfect; he would get in trouble like any other child or teenager or young man; but he was never malicious and was always sorry for whatever trouble he caused. He was not afraid of trying new things. He always enjoyed reading and learning. He made friends easily, chose his friends wisely and his friends were always welcome in his home. He died doing what he always did; helping others. James was a great child, grew to be a wonderful man, and his family and close friends loved him very much and had great pride in him.

This was posted by James on Facebook shortly before his death: If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain; Or help one fainting robin, Unto his nest again; I shall not live in vain - Emily Dickinson.

Besides his parent s and his wife, James also leaves a brother, Alex, 24; a sister, Ashleigh, 17; sister-in-law, Ericka; adopted siblings, Steven and Jessica; Godparents, Victoria Ruff and Kevin McCarthy; the soldiers and friends from the Third Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment, especially SSgt. Peter Aho and his wife Jen; many other family and friends; and his faithful dog, Radar Wicket.

ARRANGEMENTS: James' funeral with will be held on Saturday, Dec 18 at 11 a.m. at St. James Church, 156 Federal St., (parking lot is at the corner of Bridge and Flint Streets) Salem to be followed by interment with Army Honors in Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are Friday, from 3 to 7 p.m. at St. James Church. There will be a ceremony during the visitation where James will receive the following awards: The Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart; Army Good Conduct Medal; NATO Medal; and Combat Medical Badge. Arrangements are by the Full-Spychalski Funeral Home, 84 Washington Square East, by Salem Common, Salem. For online guestbook or additional information, please call 978-744-0254 or visit www.SalemFuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, his family requests memorial contributions in his name be made to Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of America, 36 Amesbury Road, Haverhill, MA 01830-2802 or go to www.yccbsa.org; or to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850-5168 or at www.fisherhouse.org; The Fisher foundation provides a "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

From The Boston Herald  bostonherald.com 12/11/10:

Fallen Salem soldier ‘died doing what he loved’
By Colneth Smiley Jr.
Saturday, December 11, 2010 
The widow of a Salem soldier yesterday wept as she prepared to escort her young husband’s body home from Delaware last night, remembering the man who served with pride and gave her the “best years” of her life.

“My husband died doing what he loved,” Lauren Elizabeth Ayube said about Army Sgt. James A. Ayube Jr., who was killed Wednesday by a suicide bomber during a combat mission in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. “He was proud of being a soldier and that he provided for his family through what he did. He felt it was his duty to serve and wanted to finish the war with his guys to make sure everyone got home OK.”

From The Salem Patch salem.patch.com 12/18/10:

Thousands Honor Sgt. James A. Ayube II During Funeral Procession
North St & Franklin St, Salem, MA

Saturday's procession passed by Ayube's favorite landmarks and locations in the City before the soldier was laid to rest in Harmony Grove Cemetery.
By Aubry Bracco December 18, 2010 

Thousands of Salemites lined City streets Saturday afternoon to pay respects to fallen soldier Sgt. James A. Ayube II.

Mourners included scout troops, members of regional and state fire departments, police departments and military personnel.

Following Ayube's funeral at St. James Church, a procession passed by the combat medic's favorite locations and landmarks in town, including the Friendship, Restaurant Row in the Willows, Winter Island, Dead Horse Beach as well as his former residence on Bridge Street.

As the procession traveled toward Harmony Grove Cemetery, where Ayube has been laid to rest, it passed beneath two ladder trucks located at the intersection of North and Franklin streets with an American flag hanging between them.

From The Salem Patch salem.patch.com 01/28/11:

Council Hopes to Rename Bypass for Sgt. James A. Ayube II
City Council will seek to name the Bridge Street Bypass in honor of fallen Salem soldier Sgt. James A. Ayube II.
By John Zorabedian January 28, 2011 
The Salem City Council will seek to rename the Bridge Street Bypass in an effort to honor a Salem man killed in action in Afghanistan last month.

A proposal by Ward 2 City Councilor Michael Sosnowski, backed unanimously by the Council, would change the name of the state road to the Sgt. James Ayube Memorial Drive.

Ayube, a combat medic, was mourned in December with a funeral procession that wound through the City and passed his former residence on Bridge Street.

The bypass is "right behind his family home," Sosnowski said. "This would get enthusiastic support from the Veterans Council and the family."

The Council will have to cut through some red tape before the renaming can take place — the City previously petitioned the state to name the bypass the Veterans Memorial Greenway.

"I want to petition the state for a name change," Sosnowski told the Council. "If it's a short process, let's do it. If it's a long process, let's get the ball rolling."

Ward 7 Councilor Joseph O'Keefe was vocal in advising the Council to move ahead at once.

"Let's do it right now. Let's not talk to this person and that person. Let's put the sign up," O'Keefe said.

Councilors expressed reservations with that course of action, asking that the Veterans Council and the Ayube family be permitted to provide input.

The Committee of the Whole will handle the matter at its next meeting.

"The outpouring of support from the community was tremendous," Councilor-at-Large Thomas Furey said of December's funeral and memorial services for Ayube. "This would be a beautiful tribute for his family and friends."

From The Salem news salemnews.com 12/18/10:

Salem soldier is laid to rest
Tom Dalton Staff writer
SALEM — Army Sgt. James Ayube II was laid to rest today in Harmony Grove Cemetery 10 days after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

The 25-year-old senior combat medic in the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment was remembered as a loving son, husband and brother who joined the military out of a sense of duty and hope.

“All he wanted to do, deep down, was to fix the world and make everyone happy,” his 17-year-old sister Ashleigh said in a eulogy at a packed St. James Church.

In a light moment, the teenager also lovingly remembered her older brother as an “accident-prone goon” who once singed his wife’s hair with a hair dryer before offering up a “goofy apology.”

Hundreds of Salem residents stood in the cold in front of the large brick church in the city’s McIntire Historic District, or waited along city streets holding American flags as the funeral procession wound its way past landmarks that had meaning to Ayube: Wesley United Methodist Church, where he attended meetings of Boy Scout Troop 24; the tall ship Friendship, Winter Island, Salem Willows and the family’s home on Bridge Street.

The Fire Department draped flags on two stations along the route, and hung another giant flag from the top of extended ladders on two ladder trucks that formed an arch at the foot of the North Street overpass.

The stairway leading into St. James Church was lined with honor guards from the Police Department, Fire Department, Salem High Marine Corps Junior ROTC, and veterans organizations.

About 50 members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a citizen motorcycle group that attends combat veterans' funerals from Iraq and Afghanistan; Rolling Thunder, a POW/MIA activist group; and the North Shore Riders Motorcycle Club stood along the stairway holding flags.

Mourners came from all over, but for the same reason.

Juliet Carty, 32, of Salem stood across the street from St. James all alone holding three small flags.

“I just felt it was important to show support for somebody fighting for us overseas,” she said. “It’s truly sad. ... I can’t imagine what (his family) is going through.”

“I’m the widow of a Marine,” said Grace Washburn of The Patriot Guard. “I just want to do what I can for our fallen brothers and sisters and give them the respect they deserve for making the ultimate sacrifice.”

A family friend, the Rev. Walter Waldron of St. Patrick’s Church in Roxbury, was chief celebrant at the Mass. He was assisted by the Rev. John Sheridan of St. James, the Rev. Timothy Murphy of Immaculate Conception, and Norman LaPointe, a deacon at St. James.

Waldron described Ayube as a young man who fought evil with the greatest love a man can give, laying down his life for others.

“Jesus did it,” Waldron said, “and James, in imitation of him, did it. He laid down his life for his family, his friends and our country...so that evil wouldn’t win.”

Ayube, who had done a tour of duty in Iraq and recently re-enlisted, also was eulogized by Army Gen. Timothy Trainor, dean of the academic board at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Trainor, who posthumously awarded Ayube the Bronze Star Medal on Friday, said the soldier posted the following quote on his Facebook page: “How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking; always by doing.”

“James came to know himself by performing his duty as a soldier, a loving son and a husband,” the general said.

Ayube, he said, was “too young to have experienced all of life, but old enough to know he wanted to serve his country.”

A large crowd of mourners followed the procession all the way to Harmony Grove, where Ayube was buried under a large white birch tree one week before Christmas.

Trainor presented American flags to Ayube’s mother, Christina, who sat in a chair by the graveside, and to Ayube’s wife of two years, Lauren.

As the service ended, the young widow stood in dappled sunlight clutching the flag in her arms. 

From The Salem Gazette wickedlocal.com 12/16/10:

Fallen soldier returns home to Salem
By Lisa Guerriero/ WickedLocalSalem.com
Wicked Local Salem/ Salem Gazette
Posted Dec 16, 2010 @ 03:18 PM
Last update Dec 17, 2010 @ 03:55 PM

Salem, Mass. —

Update: Following a church mass on Saturday, Dec. 18, there will be a motorcade procession through Salem at about 12:30 p.m. For details, including route, traffic issues and more, visit the city’s website. Anyone wishing to hold an American flag along the route can obtain one in the rear of the St. James Church parking lot beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The late Sgt. James Anthony Ayube II was slated to arrive in his hometown on Friday, Dec. 17.

Ayube, 25, died Dec. 8 from injuries caused by an explosion, according to the Army. According to his obituary, Ayube was on foot patrol in the Balkh Province in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber attacked his unit.

The Army brought Ayube’s body to Hanscom Air Force base Friday morning. (See the photo gallery here.)

Calling hours will be from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, Dec.17, at St. James Church, 161 Federal St. At the wake, according to his obituary, Ayube will receive the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal and Combat Medical Badge.

A funeral mass is set for Saturday, Dec. 18, at 11 a.m. at the church, followed by a burial, with full military honors, at Harmony Grove Cemetery.

The flag at Salem High School, Ayube’s alma mater, flew at half-mast on Dec. 10, and the school had a moment of silence in his honor. Principal David Angeramo said counseling was available to staff and students who needed it.

“As a school community, we’ve been touched and affected by this. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We will do what we can to support the family at this time,” said Angeramo.

Ayube was an Army medic who enlisted in the Army in June 2007. He was part of the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment based in Germany, where he was stationed prior to his deployment to the Middle East.

“He was a caring, thoughtful person. … He was not afraid of trying new things. He always enjoyed reading and learning. He made friends easily, chose his friends wisely and his friends were always welcome in his home,” his obituary says.

The son of James and Christina Ayube, the sergeant had military in his blood: He was born Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio while his father was stationed there in 1985. The family moved to Salem in 1989, according to his obituary.

“He was a good kid. Once he started to crawl as a baby he was on the move. He was full of life,” James Ayube said of his son.

Ayube graduated from SHS in 2003 and earned an associate’s degree in sociology at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston in 2007. He was a parishioner of St. James Church in Salem, and a member of Boy Scout Troop 24 in Salem. He was a longtime Salem resident.

Ayube married his wife Lauren in 2008. “He cared a lot about his soldiers and his friends. He wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of,” she said.

Ayube’s Facebook and Myspace pages tell the story of a young man who loved — in addition to his family and friends — music, reading and his dog.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked people to contribute to either Ayube’s beloved Boy Scouts (Yankee Clipper Council, Boy Scouts of America, 36 Amesbury Road, Haverhill, MA 01830-2802 or go to yccbsa.org) or to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., which helps military families be close to a loved one during hospitalization (111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850-5168 or fisherhouse.org). Friends and family can also sign the online guestbook at SalemFuneral.com.

Coverage of this story will be posted here at WickedLocalSalem.com, and also published in next week’s Salem Gazette.

Additional reporting by WCVB, the Salem Gazette’s news partner.
Copyright 2010 Salem Gazette. Some rights reserved 

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