Dear ones grieve soldier's death

June 22, 2011 3:47:32 PM PDT
His room is just the way he left it when he was home on leave in May - Shined shoes on the bed next to his Army dress shirt, pictures of his unit on the wall, and Army banner over his TV.

Sgt. James Harvey II, or Jimmy as his friends and family called him, took pride in everything he did. Just ask his brother-in-law.

"He went after it. That's what he did. Whatever he wanted to do he did it," David Raffaele said.

Sgt. Harvey was just 23 years old and was killed June 20th when his unit was attacked in Afghanistan.

That was how he died. But he will always be remembered here in Toms River for how he lived.

The youngest of four and the only boy, Jimmy was fun to be around. The kind of guy you would trust with your life, friends say.

"He was always there for anyone who needed him. Just an all around great kid," Charlie Mezaros, a friend, said.

On his Facebook page, Jimmy posted pictures of his unit in Afghanistan to show his friends and family here at home where he was and what he was doing. He never wanted anyone to worry about him.

Here is a perfect example of how caring he was. Some 7th graders at a school where Jimmy's sister works exchanged letters with him while he was in Afghanistan. When he was home in May on leave, he took the time to go to that school and thank his pen pals in person.

Sgt. Harvey's parents and his sisters went to meet his body at Dover Air Force Base in Maryland.

It was a long drive, but nothing compared to the road ahead filled with grief and pride for a young man who gave his life, so we all could feel safe.

His return from Afghanistan comes on the day President Obama plans to address the nation about his plan to begin withdrawing troops. However, it wasn't soon enough to save Jimmy.

"You could pull 'em out right now - everyone out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and it wouldn't make a difference. It wouldn't bring him home," Raffaele said.

Funeral arrangements for Sgt. Harvey have not been announced.