Army Pfc. James A. Waters, Cloverdale, died Friday, July 1 at Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents reportedly attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
The Cloverdale soldier was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Waters' body was returned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Saturday where his parents, Garry and Valerie Waters, traveled to make positive identification.
With his mother wearing a Military Mom shirt and his father sporting a Whiteland High School football shirt, his parents met the media Monday afternoon -- the Fourth of July -- after returning from Delaware.
"I felt like Jimmie died a hero," Garry Waters said, "and I was proud of him."
His father also recalled the grief he experienced when military personnel arrived at their southern Putnam County home. "When you answer the door and there's two servicemen there, you already know the answer," he said.
(Associated Press photo)
Waters' awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Pfc. Waters graduated from Johnson County's Whiteland High School in 2008, after which the family soon moved to the Cloverdale area.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by a sister, Jennifer, and three brothers, including Andy and Anthony Waters, both of whom have also joined the Army.
Andy Waters is in the midst of boot camp, while Anthony is scheduled to deploy next March.
No funeral service information is currently available.