By Chuck Roberts, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public AffairsFebruary 27, 2014
In the aftermath of being downed by a gunshot wound during a firefight in Afghanistan, several thoughts came to the mind of Staff Sgt. Tyronne Jones -- among them was reenlistment. Sadly, the date and location were not the only things that changed that day.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli was supposed to have conducted Jones' reenlistment ceremony at their Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. Balli died beside Jones in that same firefight on Jan. 20, 2014, against enemy insurgents who penetrated their compound through a hole from a massive explosion.
Instead, Jones was reenlisted by Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, in a Feb. 19, 2014, ceremony at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center before his wife and two children and fellow Soldiers from his home station in Vilseck, Germany.
Although Jones is a career Soldier who planned to reenlist, the deadly attack only firmed his resolve.
"I don't want to let somebody else dictate when my career is going to be over," said Jones, a 30-year-old Unmanned Aircraft Technician who was deployed with the 2D Cavalry Regiment. "What makes them a terrorist is the fact that they put terror into somebody, change their life, and scare you into doing whatever. I'm not going to let them bully me into anything. I'm going to stay in the Army and I'm going to do what I do and not let them terrorize me."
After his injury, Jones was medevaced to Kandahar and Bagram before arriving at LRMC. His next level of care will be at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he will unite with his family from Nevada, and eventually with his wife Carrie and their two sons.
Jones said well-meaning people have used the word "hero" for his actions; however, he is very matter-of-fact and straightforward in saying that his actions were not heroic, but performed only as any Soldier should have done in the same situation. His main thoughts now are to heal and return to duty in whatever capacity he can.
Jones said he hopes that he has acted as a good Soldier and properly trained others who are now filling his void in Afghanistan, just as he now considers becoming a warrant officer to fill the huge void left by the death of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli.