Sgt. 1st Class James S. Ochsner
Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Fort Bragg, N.C.
36, a native of Waukegan, Ill. and a resident of
Hope Mills, N.C.
KIA 15 Nov. 2005 in the vicinity of Lwara, Afghanistan
Special Forces Condolences Book
SFC James S. Ochsner
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)
based at Fort Bragg,
KIA 15 November 2005
of wounds sustained when
an improvised explosive device
detonated near his
His wife, Ann, his son, Nicholas, and daughter, Meagan of Hope
Mills, his parents, Robert and Sandra, of Beach Park, Ill.
His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, Army Commendation Medal for valor, Army Commendation Medal for service, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badges, and the Special Forces Tab.
Ochsner was in the process of distributing supplies to local nationals at the time of the attack.
A Hope Mills, N.C. resident, Ochsner enlisted in the Army in 1987 as an artilleryman.
He joined the 3rd SFG (ABN) in July 2002.
Sgt. 1st Class James Scott Ochsner, a native of Waukegan, was scheduled to arrive home next week from his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan. But the 18-year veteran of the U.S. Army was killed Tuesday in a roadside bomb attack.
Sgt. Ochsner, 36, who served with the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group, died of head injuries after a bomb exploded near his armored vehicle, which had been traveling as part of a troop patrol in Paktika province near the Pakistani border.
"He was going out to distribute some goods to the local people," said Ochsner's father, Bob Ochsner of Beach Park.
The elder Ochsner and his wife, Sandy, were notified of their son's death late Tuesday afternoon.
"He loved the Afghan people; he really enjoyed them," Bob Ochsner said of his son.
Sgt. Ochsner believed it was his duty to serve in the armed forces, Bob Ochsner said.
Military service is an Ochsner family tradition.
Bob Ochsner served in Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War, earning the rank of captain. Sandy Ochsner is also an Army veteran. A surviving son, Robert L. Ochsner II, 38, is a 20-year Army veteran currently stationed at Fort Knox, Ky.
Sgt. Ochsner's wife is also in the Army, and when the couple were sent to Iraq, the elder Ochsners parented their two grandchildren until their son and daughter-in-law returned two years and two months later.
James S. Ochsner attended Clark Elementary and Andrew Cook Magnet schools in Waukegan before enrolling at St. Joseph High School in Kenosha. He was athletic, excelling in wrestling and football.
"He was devil-may-care, 'the jokester,' a great kid," Bob Ochsner said. "Both my sons were gifted children. Jim had a gifted IQ, but he had a hard time getting C's and B's in school. But in Special Forces in language school, he was first in his class in Arabic."
Sgt. Ochsner was first deployed to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as an Army specialist.
Members of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, were first sent to train several battalions of the New Afghan National Army at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul in May 2002.
An intelligence specialist, Sgt. Ochsner served revolving six-month stints in the region.
His most recent tour began last June. He was scheduled to return early next week to become an instructor at the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg.
Bob Ochsner said his son was struck by the simplicity of the Afghan people.
"The best thing you could do for them was dig a well," Ochsner said. "We helped them build schools but there was resistance to that. The elder men said they hadn't gone to school."
**Information from SFAHQ.com, The Department of Defense,
USASOC used in this Article.
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