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Army Staff Sgt. John J. Cleaver

Died November 19, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


36, of Marysville, Wash.; assigned to the 782d Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Nov. 19 in FOB Lagman, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when a suicide car-bomber attacked his unit. Also killed was Daniel A. Frazier.

Wash. soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department says a Fort Bragg, N.C., soldier from Marysville, Wash., was one of two soldiers killed Nov. 19 by a suicide car bomber in Zabul province, Afghanistan.

Thirty-six-year-old Staff Sgt. John J. Cleaver was killed along with 26-year-old Sgt. Daniel A. Frazier of Saint Joseph, Mich.

They were assigned to the 782d Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.


Served 10 years in Navy before joining Army

The Associated Press

Friends and family say John J. Cleaver had wanted to be like his grandfather, a World War II veteran who lost his left leg in the Battle of the Bulge.

When he was a teenager and broke his arm, Cleaver worried he wouldn’t be able to enlist in the military.

“It bothered him. He didn’t want that to hold him back,” said cousin Jason Schuler.

Cleaver, 36, of Marysville, Wash., died Nov. 19 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when a suicide car-bomber attacked his unit. He was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

He is survived by his two sons, Collin and Aidan; and his parents, Ronald and Teresa Cleaver, of Joplin, Mo.

John Cleaver attended Galena High School in Missouri, then Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he learned to fly small aircraft. He also attended Crowder College in Missouri, where he became a certified emergency medical technician.

Cleaver joined the Navy in 1995, serving in Kosovo and Iraq.

After 10 years of service, he left the Navy and joined the Army.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Griffey, who served with Cleaver, described the soldier as both disciplined and generous.

“John was very meticulous,” Griffey said. “He was the most disciplined soldier we had in our company.”

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