James A Page
August 31, 2010
Killed in Logar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
|The Associated Press
James Page couldn’t quite see himself in an Army uniform for his entire career. A skydiving jumpsuit was more his speed, his sister said.
Cristi Page said she and her brother were supposed to go skydiving when he was home on leave earlier this year, but bad weather fouled their plans. They had hoped to do it when he came home in December.
“He was a risk taker,” she said.
Even though it wasn’t his dream career, James Page joined the military for the sake of his little boy, 3-year-old Jarod. He didn’t know he had a son until two year’s ago, when an old girlfriend tracked him down and told him the news.
He joined the Army so he could support his son.
“His main goal had always been that when he had kids that he was going to be a good father,” Cristi Page said.
James Page, 23, of Titusville, Fla., was killed by a roadside bomb Aug. 31 in Logar province, Afghanistan. He was based out of Bamberg, Germany.
Pfc. Devon Groom, who served with Page, said he would miss the soldier and his solid work ethic.
“He always wanted to go on missions,” Groom said.
James Page, a 23-year-old Army private first class, who moved to Titusville from Bronson after graduating high school, had big plans when he was set to come home from Afghanistan this December. Those plans included spending time with his 3-year-old son, Jarod, and taking his sister, Cristi Page of Bronson, skydiving.
Those plans ended this past Tuesday, when Page and three other soldiers were killed by enemy forces who attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Page, whose specialty was as a driver, enlisted in the Army in 2008. He was promoted to the rank of specialist posthumously.
"He joined the Army because he wanted to make his son proud," said Deana Strickland, Page's mother.
According to the Defense Department, Page was awarded a number of decorations during his time in the Army, including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was a member of the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Bamberg, Germany.
Cristi Page said her brother moved to Brevard County after graduating high school in Bronson, a small city west of Gainesville, to be with his mother. He worked at the Wal-Mart in Cocoa, an area Subway and also in the kitchen at one of the public schools.
About two years ago, an old girlfriend living in Tampa had tracked him down through the MySpace social networking site and told him about his son, Jarod. It was life-changing news.
Page enlisted in the Army late in 2008 to support him. "He really wasn't doing much with his life yet," Cristi Page said. "His main goal had always been that when he had kids that he was going to be a good father. He couldn't take care of his son financially at that time, so he went into the Army."
On his Facebook page, James Page wrote: "I love serving my country, but don't see myself making it a career just yet. All I want to do right now is get home safely and see my beautiful little boy Jarod."
Cristi said she and her brother were supposed to go skydiving earlier this year when he was home on leave, but the weather was bad so they had to reschedule. He was supposed to come home for a month in December and the brother and sister were planning to do it then. After the military, he wanted to be a skydiving instructor. "He was a risk taker," Cristi Page said.
"Spc. Page worked hard every day. He always wanted to go on missions. I'm going to miss him," said Pfc. Devon Groom, who served in Page's squad.
Page's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Page's funeral arrangements are pending. A memorial service for the slain soldiers will be Sept. 13 at the Army garrison in Bamberg and Sept. 17 at Camp Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.
Army Pfc. James A. Page was killed in action on 8/31/10.
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