Having gone through battle school with Jonesy, this article was no suprise. He was one of the most genuine and big-hearted kids I've ever met.The NFLD Grinch said:'Sweetheart' of a soldier mourned in Newfoundland town
Last Updated: Monday, December 15, 2008 | 8:10 AM NT CBC News
Preparations for a Christmas carol service at a church in a small Newfoundland town took on a sombre note this weekend, as neighbours prepared to mourn the loss of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Pte. Justin Peter Jones was one of three Canadians killed Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded west of Kandahar.
In his hometown of Baie Verte, a town of about 1,500 on Newfoundland's northeast coast, Jones was remembered fondly by friends and neighbours.
"Justin was a sweetheart," said Madeline Drover, who said she knew Jones, 21, all of his life.
"He was a wonderful human being, and he was a young man [who] was very dedicated to what he chose to do with his life."
The only son of Anthony and Rowena Jones, who have travelled to Trenton, Ont., to meet their son's body when it arrives back in Canada, Jones was known as a trustworthy citizen who even at a young age volunteered in community organizations, including service groups and the local volunteer fire department.
"He believed in putting other people first, and he proved that in the life he led," Drover said.
"He was such a joy to everybody who knew him.… He believed so much in what he did and the good he was doing over in Afghanistan."
Monica Green, who grew up with Jones, said many people in the town considered him like a brother.
"He was just an amazing person. You couldn't ask for any better," said Green, who recalled how Jones founded a community youth group.
"Most people think, well, that's crazy what you're doing. But Justin loved what he was doing."
Green said Jones's death has had a profound effect on Baie Verte.
"I didn't understand the word 'war' until Justin had died," she said. "I was just shocked. He's 21 — he can't die. He's just so young. [There were] so many things in his life that he succeeded in. That's the kind of person that he is."
Jones and Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton and Pte. John Michael Roy Curwin were killed while they were serving near Kandahar.
Their bodies were loaded onto a plane Sunday that is expected to arrive at Canadian Forces Base Trenton on Tuesday.