21st TSC loses Soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom

Angelika Lantz
21st Theater Support Command

***image1***The 21st Theater Support Command members honored the life of the first command Soldier to be killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom during a Memorial Service April 16 at Vogelweh.
Spc. Jonathan Roy Kephart, 21, a Kaiserslautern-based Military Policeman from the 230th Military Police Company, 95th MP Battalion, 37th Transportation Command, was killed during a squadron ambush April 8.
Specialist Kephart was recommended for a combat award which is being processed, said Col. Susan Sowers, commander of the 37th Transportation Command.
On the day of the ambush, Specialist Kephart had not been in Iraq a full month yet. He was a gunner in a three-vehicle squad on its way to help fellow Soldiers in a Humvee that had a flat tire in north Baghdad.
“They went into a firestorm no one could have anticipated,” Colonel Sowers said.
When the attack started, Kephart used his .50 caliber weapon spraying cover fire as the squad made its way down a “four-kilometer kill zone,” she said.
When a round exploded in Kephart’s gun, his driver and team leader, Spc. Amy Kovac, handed him her M249 machine gun. Kephart continued to empty the rounds until he ran out of ammunition, then he grabbed an M-4 assault rifle and kept defending his squad, Colonel Sowers said.
Specialist Kephart, from Oil City, Pa., is survived by his parents, Burt and Donna Kephart.