Spc. Rodney A. Jones, 21, of Philadelphia, Pa., died Sept. 30, 2004, in Baghdad, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device exploded near his dismounted patrol. Jones was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Rodney graduated early from Roxborough High School and worked for the Internal Revenue Service before joining the Army in 2000. He was survived by his mother, Renee Jones, his sister, Felicia Devine, and his high school girlfriend, Terricka Williams. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
“(Rodney’s commanding officer) said, ‘your son was a giant among men…He was older and took more responsibility than every other 21-year-old he ever saw,’” recalled Rodney’s mom, Renee Jones.
The Travis Manion Foundation honored Spc. Rodney Jones through our Character Does Matter program on Oct. 19, 2011 when we told his story to inspire 200 students at Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia, Pa.