Decorated local soldier killed in action

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Richmond family is in mourning, grieving the death of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan.  27-year old Staff Sgt. Jaime Newman was killed on Friday when an improvised explosive device went off near his patrol.  His army service spanned seven years.  It took him from Richmond to the Middle East, where the father of two made the ultimate sacrifice.

Staff Sgt. Newman's body is now back in the states.  It was ceremoniously taken off a military transport at Dover Air Force Base Sunday.

Last week, he was on patrol in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device detonated, killing him and another soldier.

The 27-year old infantryman of the 101st Airborne Division was highly decorated.  During his service, he was awarded the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal and medals for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was also a son and a father.  Newman leaves behind his parents and two children.

The burden of that loss is one a Powhatan mother knows well.  Eileen Osmolski's son John was killed in Iraq in 2008, also when an IED exploded.

"Your heart just drops," she explained.

Osmolski, is also chaplain of Blue Star Families of Richmond," which is a support group for families of soldiers.  She said the military's support services are crucial in navigating a tragedy like this one.

"They rally around and they start to comfort you," she said.  "And the ones that are close to your child that served with your son they are grieving too."

She said it will be important for staff Sgt. Newman's family to lean on others who know what they're going through.

"My tears are mingled with yours over the loss of your precious son," she described.

Newman joined the army in July 2003.  He will be honored at a monthly remembrance ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in October.

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