Marysville soldier killed in Afghanistan

Army Staff Sgt. John James Cleaver, who listed his home as Marysville, was one of two soldiers killed in the Zabul province of Afghanistan on the morning of Nov. 19, while they were delivering supplies to a forward operating base, after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in a truck near where Cleaver was serving as a medic and convoy commander.

Cleaver, 36, was on his second deployment to Afghanistan and his fourth deployment to a war zone. He was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Company E, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He'd served in the Army since June of 2006, and in the Navy for 10 years prior, starting in 1995. As a sailor, he made petty officer, was part of combat in both Kosovo and Iraq, served as a firefighter instructor in Norfolk, Va., and was stationed at Naval Station Everett on board USS Rodney M. Davis. As a soldier, he completed the Warrior Leader Course and Airborne School after his first tour in Afghanistan, which lasted 15 months.

Cleaver is survived by his two sons, 12-year-old Collin and 10-year-old Aidan, as well as his parents, Ron and Teresa. He and his wife were separated.

Cleaver's grandfather, John Harold Poole, also served in the Army, and lost his leg during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. John Cleaver was Teresa Cleaver's only biological child, although she has two stepchildren.

Cleaver grew up in the Midwest, but he told family members of possible plans to settle in the Seattle area and become a nurse after he retired from the Army.

Cleaver's company commander, Capt. Burton Furlow, said in a news release, "Staff Sgt. Cleaver was one of the most disciplined paratroopers that I have ever had a chance to work with. He always set a standard and ensured that his paratroopers always meet that standard."

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