NASHVILLE — A 22-year-old soldier from Tennessee has died from wounds suffered in Afghanistan earlier this month, the Department of Defense said Friday.
Spc. Jason K. Edens, of Franklin, Tenn., died on Thursday in Bethesda, Md. He was injured April 15 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, when his unit was attacked with small arms fire.
Edens was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Edens was an infantryman who joined the Army in January 2009 in Nashville and was previously stationed at Fort Benning, Ga.
His awards and decorations include Purple Heart, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Expert with Rifle.
Edens graduated from Franklin High School in 2007, according to the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs
Edens is survived by his wife Ashley Edens of Elizabethton, his mother Janet Crane of Phoenix City, Alabama and his father James Edens of Franklin.
"He was a hero," Ashley Edens said in a statement.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder expressed their condolences.
"The state of Tennessee joins the Edens family in mourning the loss of Jason," Haslam said. "We also offer our condolences to all who knew Jason, grew up with him in Franklin and served with him in the United States Army."
"Our sympathy goes out to the family of Specialist Jason Edens as they mourn during this difficult time of loss," Grinder said. "I join Tennesseans in remembering the ultimate sacrifice of Specialist Edens and we are committed to honor our fallen Tennessee heroes."
"Team Bliss and the 1st Armored Division deeply mourns the loss of an outstanding soldier; we are keeping Spc. Jason Eden's wife, family, friends, and fellow Soldiers in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," stated Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, who is the commanding general of the 1st Armored Division, in a news release. "He was a fighter and gave his life on behalf of our nation."
Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Afghanistan in September and October 2011 to provide stability and security operations. A memorial ceremony will be held at a later date.