DENVER (AP) – Two Army paratroopers who were killed in an attack on their base in Afghanistan are being described as outstanding leaders who set a good example for the soldiers around them.

The Department of Defense says 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear of Denver and 19-year-old Pfc. Payton A. Jones, of Marble Falls, Texas, died Thursday in the Zhari district of southern Kandahar province. U.S. and Afghan officials say the men were killed on a joint U.S.-Afghan base by two Afghan soldiers and an Afghan civilian literacy instructor who fired from a sentry tower.

Both were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“Staff Sgt. Bear set the example for all the squad leaders in his platoon,” said Capt. Cecil Wolberton, commander of the men’s company. “He was a phenomenal leader and beloved by the men he led.”

Meanwhile, Wolberton said he remembers Jones’ first day in the unit and described him as “an outstanding soldier.”

“Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of watching him develop as a paratrooper,” the captain said.

Jones, who joined the Army in July 2010 and was on his first deployment, is survived by his mother and his father. Bear, who has been in the Army since September 2004 and was on his third deployment to Afghanistan, is survived by his wife, his 4-year-old daughter and his 2-month-old son.

His mother, Cathleen Bear, told the Denver Post that Army officials say he was shot while trying and lift a wounded soldier who had fallen next to him.

“He once told me that all he wanted was a wife and a son and that he probably would never have that because he would die while serving,” she said.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Dotty says:

    My heart goes out to the families, friends, and the soldiers that knew him.
    May God Bless all of you.

  2. Lauren says:

    He was serving with my son-in-law when this happened. They are from the same unit. I was devastated when I heard this news. My heart is heavy for the families of these men that were killed. I hope they may find solace in the thoughts that these soldiers are the best of the best of mankind.

  3. Sharon Freemont says:

    His Grandfather Logan Bear is my Uncle and Jordan comes from a line of Native American men who have served their country. I am sure that when he left this world my cousin, Irita and all the other relative were there to meet him and tell him how proud they were of him and to welcome him home. I am so proud of him and pray for my Uncle Logan and Aunt Ida in Denver.

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