April 11, 2008

Adjutant General confirms death of Virginia Guard Soldier

Staff Sgt. Jesse Ault

RICHMOND, Va. - Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, confirmed April 11 the death of a Virginia National Guard Soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sgt. Jesse A. Ault, 28, of Dublin, Va., died April 9 as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle while conducting convoy operations south of Baghdad. His military specialty was motor transport operator, and he was assigned to the E Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion based in Roanoke, Virginia.

“We have lost another brave Soldier who was courageously serving the cause of freedom in a foreign land,” Newman said. “We grieve for his family and his community, and we ask the people of the Commonwealth and his fellow Guardsmen to remember this tremendous sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers will be with Staff Sgt. Ault and his family."

Ault’s death comes less than a week after the loss of Virginia National Guard Soldier Staff Sgt. Jeremiah McNeal who was killed in an IED attack near Baghdad April 6.

“There should be no doubt that the Virginia National Guard has an important role in the Global War on Terrorism,” Newman said. “Now more than ever, we all need to strengthen our resolve and continue to stand behind our men and women serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They need the strength and support of their families and communities now more than ever.”

The Virginia National Guard is providing the Ault family with comfort and assistance through the state chaplain office and local family readiness groups. “We are in direct contact with the family, and we will do everything we can to make sure they have whatever resources they need during this tragic time,” Newman said.

“Sgt. Jesse Ault was a father, a husband and a warrior,” said Maj. Timothy E. Eppele, the E Company Commander, “he volunteered to join the unit to serve with others that he had deployed with previously.”

“Sgt. Ault is the epitome of a Soldier and NCO,” said Spc. Tony Salas, “he was a beloved friend.”

“He was like family to me,” said Spc. Thomas R. Hollowell, “we did everything together, I am proud to be part of his team.”

“Sgt. Jesse Ault was the example of how a man is supposed to be created,” said Spc. Jeffrey A. McDaniel, “husband, father, friend; my wife and I are richer for having known him.”

Click HERE for additional background information.

Click HERE to return to the top of the page ~ Click HERE to return to the news directory