SALEM, MA, US
SGT, HQ AND HQ CO, 3RD SQD, 2ND STRYKER CAVALRY RGT, VILSECK, GERMANY
Sergeant Ayube is described as a caring, thoughtful person; not afraid of trying new things. James always enjoyed reading and learning. He made friends easily, chose his friends wisely. His friends were always welcome in his home.
Sergeant Ayube was born into a military family. As the son of James and Christina Ayube he came into this world at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where his father was stationed there in 1985. The family moved to Salem in 1989. “He was a good kid. Once he started to crawl as a baby he was on the move. He was full of life,” explained James Ayube’s father.
Ayube married his wife Lauren Elizabeth in 2008. She explained that, “He cared a lot about his soldiers and his friends. He wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of. My husband died doing what he loved.” Sergeant Ayube Jr. was killed in action in 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.”
“I only had four years with him,” she said. “But they were the best four years of my life.” Mrs. Ayube and Sergeant Ayube Skyped one another 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.”
The Reverend Waldron who officiated at Sergeant Ayube’s Mass observed that, “…I was overwhelmed and touched by the people of Salem who came out for the Mass and the procession afterwards. I couldn’t believe it. What touched me about all that is, I never heard people talking on the streets; they were all silent. They didn’t wave their flags, they didn’t sing, they just stood there in silence. It was one of most incredible things I’ve seen.” Those standing in the streets of Salem came to honor this fallen hero and show support for his family. “It shows how good people are,” Rev. Waldron added. “Here are thousands of ordinary people knowing what the value of life is, wanting to say it in a silent way.”
“He is the closest person to a knight in shining armor I know, and nothing could ever replace him,” his sister Ashleigh Ayube added.