As President Obama prepares to address the nation to announce cuts to the number of troops in Afghanistan, a Toms River family is mourning the loss of their soldier in that same country.
The Asbury Park Press reports that 23-year-old Army Sgt. James W. Harvey II, of Toms River, died on Monday in the Ghanzi Province of Afghanistan after his unit was attacked by enemy fire.
Harvey was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in Fort Knox, Ky., according to the Asbury Park Press.
His father, also named James, told the newspaper that his son enlisted in the service at the age of 21. In fact, his son asked twice for his opinion about possibly enlisting in the service, but he didn't see it as a good decision. James Sr. told the Asbury Park Press that U.S. troops should have already cleared out of Afghanistan.
“When we went over there, it was to get the guy who plotted to take down the World Trade Center and we got him. Mission accomplished. Why are we still there?” he asked during Tuesday night’s interview with the Asbury Park Press.
James' sister, Tracey Harvey, 25, told the Asbury Park Press that he always acted like an older brother.
“I didn’t want him to go into the Army, but it was for selfish reasons. But I knew it would be good for him,” she told the Asbury Park Press.
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On Tuesday, Harvey’s parents picked out cemetery plots and a funeral home for their son who will be posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, according to the Asbury Park Press.