Today, Staff Sgt. James P. Hunter will be buried in the Veterans Section of Lexington Cemetery, as he wished.
Staff Sgt. Hunter, a Lexington native who grew up in northern Ohio, was killed by an insurgent bomb blast earlier this month. He was 25.
A veteran of two tours in Iraq, his 101st Airborne Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team had only been in Afghanistan for a short period. A member of the division from New York also was killed when the unit was attacked.
Although he spent little time in Kentucky, Sgt. Hunter loved the state and the University of Kentucky basketball team, family members said.
He also loved the Army and felt positive about the U.S. military's efforts to improve life for poor Afhgans.
Sgt. Hunter's death came during a month of record U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan and a lot of debate about the leadership and direction of the war effort.
None of that should diminish the appreciation the nation owes Sgt. Hunter and many others for their bravery, patriotism and optimism. We honor his sacrifice.