CLAREMORE, OK, US
SSG, CO B, 1ST BN, 508TH INF, (TF BAYONET), CAMP EDERLE, IT
09/30/2005, SHA WALI KOT, AFGHANISTAN
Staff Sergeant Doles had deployed to Iraq and participated at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom by parachuting into the country in the opening days of the war in the largest combat jump since World War II.
To those who knew Staff Sergeant Doles he is described as an outgoing friend, devoted parent and a soldier eager to continue his service to his country.
“John knew his stuff,” said Sergeant Brian Waterman who served with Staff Sergeant Doles at Ft. Polk, LA. “I believe all of us here know how big a heart John had,” Sergeant Waterman explained to the 200 plus people attending the service at the First Christian Church. The same townspeople had decorated the streets of Chelsea with American flags and red, white and blue ribbons to pay tribute to this Fallen Hero. “When we were all in Iraq with no e-mail, no phones, John still made sure Heather got flowers on her birthday.”
The people of Chelsea felt firsthand the impact of war in the Middle East as they shared thoughts and grieved the death of Staff Sergeant Doles along with his family.
The Reverend Richard Billings, who officiated, explained that Staff Sergeant Doles’ dying in Afghanistan “was not the last thing he ever did.”
“His ministry is right now. Johnny Doles is a hero,” The Reverend Billings said. “We enjoy the freedom he worked for and gave his life for.”