Based: Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: April 29, 2008
High School: De La Salle High School (Concord)
Burial: Oakmont Cemetery, Lafayette, Calif.
From Military Times:
Senior Airman Jonathan A.V. Yelner — Vega to his friends — had no difficulty holding his own among the soldiers at Forward Operating Base Kutschbach, Afghanistan.
Yelner, 24, was just a few months into a yearlong tour with the Army when he was killed April 29 by an improvised explosive device near Bagram. A bomb loader by training, he volunteered for the in-lieu-of tasking as a Humvee driver for the Kapisa and Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team, a job he did carefully and conscientiously.
“From setting up the radios, to mounting the crew serve weapon ... we could always count on Yelner to get it done right the first time,” McCausland said.
Master Sgt. Felipe Richards, the PRT first sergeant, remembered Yelner as a “smart, vibrant, full-of-life person who brought a smile to my face.”
“I’m very proud of him,” his father, Bruce Yelner of El Cerrito, Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He was performing one of the ... nobler duties of the military in Afghanistan. He did a lot of good for the local Afghans.”
In addition to his mother, Yolanda Vega he is survived by his father, Bruce Yelner; his stepfather, Bill Theile; and a brother, Mathew Luis Vega Yelner.
Lieutenant Col. William D. Andersen, Kapisa-Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, salutes Army Col. Jonathan Ives upon uncovering the sign dedicating a dining facility on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan to Senior Airman Jonathan A.V. Yelner. Airman Yelner, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., was killed April 29 when an improvised explosive device detonated underneath his vehicle in Tag Ab Valley, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo