Based: Ft. Benning, Ga.
1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 28, 2007
Salman Pak, Iraq
High School: Independence Continuation High School (Jackson)
Foreign Country of Birth: Australia
Burial: Sunset View Cemetery, Jackson, Calif.
December was a month of milestones for Jay-D OrnsbyAdkins, a young man with a wrestler's grit and a flashy grin. He graduated from boot camp at Ft. Knox, Ky., turned 21 and married his high school sweetheart, Ashley.
Along the way, they talked about starting a family and "basically, living a happy life with our kids," said Ashley OrnsbyAdkins, 20.
That dream will remain unfulfilled.
The Army private first class was among three soldiers killed April 28 when a roadside bomb exploded near their Humvee and they were attacked with small-arms fire in Salman Pak, Iraq, south of Baghdad.
Also killed were Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr., 24, of College Station, Texas, and Pvt. Cole E. Spencer, 21, of Gays, Ill.
News of Ornsby-Adkins' death spread quickly through Ione, Calif., the small Amador County community 34 miles southeast of Sacramento where he had lived for the last 14 years. Within hours, townspeople had dropped off hundreds of bouquets, cards and photographs in front of the popular Robyn's Nest hair salon on West Main Street, owned by his mother, Robyn Ornsby.
More than 600 mourners attended his funeral May 9 at the Church of the Nazarene in Sutter Creek. His coffin was draped in an American flag, but an Australian flag also was on display because he was born in Perth. He moved to the United States with his mother when he was 5.
Robyn Ornsby is proud of the medals and badges her son earned in his short Army career: a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and an expert badge in pistol shooting. But after the funeral service, she put them away, preferring to remember her son by the many good times they had.
"I raised him on my own, and I think our whole life was special together," she said.
In addition to his wife and mother, Ornsby-Adkins is survived by his father, Shad Adkins of Australia; a stepsister; four grandparents, also in Australia; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Read the entire LA Times article about Army Private 1st Class Jay-D H. Ornsby-Adkins here.
Find more at Military Times,
and at Hugs for Soldiers.
Visit Private Ornsby-Adkins' Guest Book.
December 09, 2010
~ Grandma Adkins, Perth
Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr. -- Rest In Peace
Pvt. Cole E. Spencer -- Rest In Peace