Soldier Honored: John G. Doles
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy, Staff Sergeant Doles was one of hundreds of paratroopers who parachuted into Baghdad during the opening days of the war in the largest combat drop since WWII.
While serving his second tour of duty, Doles’ unit was conducting a dismounted patrol during combat operations on September 30, 2005 in Shah Wali, a village in southern Iraq. They were overrun by insurgents using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Department of Defense later issued a statement that investigators believed the unit was the victim of a planned ambush aimed at American soldiers and the Iraqi trainees under their guidance.
Sergeant Brian Waterman, who served in the same platoon with Doles when stationed together at Fort Polk, Louisiana said of him: “He knew his stuff. He was an outgoing friend, devoted father and loving husband. When we were all in Iraq on a base with no phones or email, he made sure his wife received flowers back in the states on her birthday.”
Sergeant Doles received a posthumous Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal as well as several other decorations and commendations for his valiant service. Doles’ son is a Folds of Honor scholarship recipient.