Around groups of people, Justin Ross was quiet and sometimes shy. But around his friends, his personality blossomed, and the son of a pastor began to shine.
“He never, ever thought of himself,” friend Amy Staeven told WBAY-TV. “He was always there to encourage, (and) never had anything bad to say about anybody.”
The Green Bay, Wis., native enlisted in the Army res erves in 2006. He graduated from Port Bay High School in 2007 and Universal Technical Institute in 2009.
His high school principal told WFRV-TV that Ross was a quiet leader who enjoyed building things and working with his hands.
The 22-year-old died March 26 after he was shot in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. He was posthumously promoted to corporal.
His father, the Rev. Ron Ross, said the combat engineer had begun conducting missions on foot to clear bombs from roadways and was enjoying the chance to truly see and experience Afghanistan.
“He believed in what he was doing,” his father said in a statement, according to WLUK-TV. “He also told me that after meeting guys from the Afghan Army that he now understood why we were over there.”
Ross was based in Wausau, Wis.
Wisconsin National Guard:
Flags at Wisconsin National Guard armories, air bases and other facilities across the state will fly at half-staff Wednesday (April 4) in honor of Army Reserve Cpl. Justin D. Ross of Green Bay, Wis., who lost his life while serving his country in Afghanistan. The Guard will render these honors in accordance with an executive order issued by Gov. Scott Walker.
UPDATED Monday, March 28, 2011 — 8:45 a.m.
Governor Walker Statement on Death of Spc. Justin Ross:
MADISON—Governor Scott Walker released the following statement today regarding the death of Spc. Justin Ross. The Department of Defense announced today that Spc. Justin D. Ross, 22, of Green Bay, Wis., died March 26 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire. He was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, Wausau, Wis.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Spc. Justin Ross who lost his life serving his country yesterday in Afghanistan. We hope that they are able to take some measure of comfort in knowing that he is a Wisconsin hero. We are grateful for the service of all Wisconsinites in the U.S. Military and pray earnestly for their safety.”
Corporal Justin D. Ross, 22, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, died 26 March in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire. Justin Ross was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, Wausau, Wisconsin.
In an update issued 30 March 2011 — Justin Ross was posthumously promoted from specialist to corporal.
DE PERE – The father of a solider killed in Afghanistan said he hopes people will think about character when they see his son’s name on a plaque at a post office named in his honor.
The Corporal Justin D. Ross Post Office Building is named for the 22-year-old from Howard killed in Afghanistan in March 2011 while his combat engineer unit was clearing roads of improvised explosive devices.
“I’m talking about things like honesty, integrity, and being courageous, even if you are afraid. Moving toward your fear and doing it anyway,” said Ron Ross, Justin’s dad. “I’m sure he was very afraid when he took point that day when they were leading the 101st Airborne into a battle and he was clearing the route.
“But he did it anyway. And that’s character,” he said. “That’s what I want people to have. They can have it in whatever they do, they don’t just have to have it in the military service.”