Veteran of the Day graphic created by Alexandra Craig for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran John A. Pelham. John served during the War in Afghanistan.
Oregon native John Pelham enlisted with the United States Army in July 2011. He received initial entry training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and advanced individual training at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
After completing advanced individual training, John received specialized training in signal intelligence analysis and completed airborne school. He was then assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group stationed out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. As a signal intelligence analyst, John was responsible for collecting electronic intelligence on enemy forces to determine their movements and intentions.
John deployed with the 3rd Special Forces Group to Afghanistan in October 2013. In 2014, he and his fellow soldiers found themselves facing resistance from enemy forces. John’s efforts to collect intelligence on enemy movements and objectives provided him and his fellow soldiers with an advantage over the insurgent forces, protecting them and countless others.
On Feb. 12, 2014, while on patrol in Kapisa Provence, Afghanistan, John and his fellow soldiers were attacked by insurgents disguised as Afghan security forces. During the ensuing firefight, John and a fellow member of his unit were killed.
Throughout his career with the United States Army, John reached the rank of specialist and earned several medals and commendations, including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. John was laid to rest at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. He is remembered as an exceptional soldier and devoted family man.
We honor his service.
Memorial Day Awareness
This month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization that connects Americans to the sacrifices made daily by the U.S. military, Veterans, first responders and their families to commemorate the “Memorial May” awareness campaign. The VA will share the stories of service members and Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in “Veteran of the Day” posts leading up to Memorial Day 2019.
Editor: Geoffrey Townsley
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Graphic design: Alexandra Craig