Remembering the Life and Memory of...
SSG John W. Perry
Hometown: South River,New Jersey.
Age: 30 years old.
Died: November 12, 2016
Unit: Hq & Hq Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Ft Hood, Tx
Ft. Hood, TX: SSG. John W. Perry, 30, of South River, NJ died on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan as a result of injuries sustained from a suicide bomber.
John was a member of The American Legion Post 214 in South River.
John is survived by his devoted wife, Julianne Good Perry, his sweet children, Lena Rose and Gavin William; his mother, Kathleen Fazekas Perry; his father, Stewart Perry and his wife, Claire and their daughter, Anita; his maternal grandmother, Anne Fazekas and his paternal grandmother, Anita Custer. He will be missed by his dogs whom he loved, Kaden and Silas. He is also survived by a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 11:00 am at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Sayreville where John and Julianne met in third grade. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date,.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Fisher House or to any charity involving animals.
Published in Home News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2016
SSG John W. Perry died on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 when a suicide bomber posing as a laborer gained access to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and detonated a device, also killed was PFC Tyler R. Lubelt aged 20 and 2 American contractors. Another 16 U.S. service members and one Polish soldier were wounded.
Afghan officials said the bomber was wearing the kind of clothing normally worn by local laborers, who line up at dawn to enter the base.
Perry entered the U.S. Army on Jan. 31, 2008, as a test, measurement and diagnostic equipment maintenance support specialist. He was assigned to 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade since Aug. 21, 2014.
Perry deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from August 2010 to July 2011. He deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel from September 2016 to November 2016.
Perry’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, three Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism service medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Combat Action Badge and Driver’s and Mechanic Badge.
SAYREVILLE — The ornate architecture inside Saint Stanislaus Kosta Church is as decorated and impressive as the soldier's life whose memorial service was conducted there on Saturday.
Staff Sgt. John Perry, who once lived in South River, died while putting his life on the line for the country he served and the people he loved when, on Nov. 12, a suicide bomber in Afghanistan detonated an explosive device outside Bagram Air Base. Perry was 30 years old.
Perry, who was a member of the American Legion post in South River and currently lived with his family in Texas, met his wife in elementary school at Saint Stanislaus school.
His wife, Julianne, is from Sayreville. Together, they have a son and a daughter, and celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary in September.
"They would Skype any chance they had during his deployment and had spoken last just the day before the unimaginable happened," according to an email sent out by Janice O'Brien, the mayor of Sayreville's wife, who shared information from Facebook. "The love between these two was undeniable and Julianne and John are just two of the sweetest, sweetest people."
Perry deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was awarded decorations such as the Purple Heart medal, Bronze Star and many more, according to O'Brien. Perry was among four people killed in the suicide bombing, which took the lives of another soldier and two American contractors. Perry and the other soldier, Private first class Tyler R. Iubelt, 20, of Tamaroa, Illinois, were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, according to news reports.
A GoFundMe.com page has been created to raise money for the Perry family. Anyone interested in donating can do so at www.gofundme.com/jjperry.
The church was filled with family, friends and about a dozen veterans who marched in uniform down the aisle with American flags at the beginning and the end of the memorial service.
"For all of those who have fallen asleep in the hopes of rising again, that they may see God face-to-face, let us pray to the Lord," said the Rev. Kenneth Murphy, who presided over the service. During his reading, Murphy compared Perry to Lazarus, who, in the Bible, died and was brought back to life by Jesus.
"He lived again," Murphy said. "But you know what, he also had to die again. He died twice. I don't know if that would be such a blessing."
Rev. Kenneth Murphy of Saint Stanislaus church in SayrevilleBuy Photo
Rev. Kenneth Murphy of Saint Stanislaus church in Sayreville reading for the memorial service of Staff Sgt. John Perry. (Photo: Nick Muscavage/Staff Photo)
The service was somber, but at moments there were smiles and even laughter when Murphy read letters sent to the Perry family from close friends.
"We've all gone our separate ways over the years," one childhood friend wrote. "We all still talk to this day, almost 30 years later. At 1:36 Z [military time] on the 12th of November, while I'm slept in the comfort of my home in the Pacific, the Taliban took part of my childhood."
The friend said he had just messaged Perry10 days before his death to wish him happy birthday. That was the last email chain between the two of them, the friend said, and he could not stop reading it over and over.
The two joked about the respective countries they were both stationed in; his friend was in the Air Force and stationed in Guam. Perry mentioned that you could buy a "magic" carpet in Afghanistan for a fraction of the price of Persian rugs in the United States. The only thing magic about it though, he said, was that it would make $1,500 disappear from your pocket.
"The last words between John and me are shooting B.S. about the rug," the friend wrote. "To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. It was us, as we've always been."
The two considered themselves brothers throughout life, the friend said.
"I have no hesitation saying that he grew into a better man than I did," the friend concluded. "And that he will live on through his children."
Another email from a friend that Murphy read from described Perry as a "great man" and a "straight-shooter," but that no plaque on the wall or newspaper column could capture his true personality.
To him, Perry was a man's man who lifted weights and chewed Copenhagen smokeless tobacco.
"Because everyone has their own version of Sgt. Perry," he wrote. "I get the satisifcation, pride and honor of knowing the Cope-chewing, cig-smoking, Mountain Dew-shotgunning, bass-fishing, weight-lifting" guy that was Perry.
"This isn't a goodbye, but a see-you-soon," he said. "Save me a spot at Fiddler's Green, and the Cophengaen is on me, brother."
Staff Writer Nick Muscavage: 908-243-6615- firstname.lastname@example.org