NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jerome Lemon, of North Charleston, S.C., died in Iraq this week, only days after returning there from leave, his family and friends said.
Staff Sgt. Lemon, 42, was a convoy commander with the Kingstree-based 1052nd Transportation Company of the Army National Guard. He was killed when his convoy was ambushed Wednesday morning.
He left behind a wife and four children.
"This is just another terrible loss, another reminder of what a horrible war we're fighting over there, another hero who's fallen for our country," said longtime friend state Rep. Douglas Jennings, D-Bennettsville.
Staff Sgt. Lemon had a civilian career in law enforcement, working for the Marlboro and Darlington county sheriff's offices and city police departments in Cheraw and Hartsville. He joined the South Carolina Highway Patrol in 1990.
Staff Sgt. Lemon wasn't thrilled about heading back to Iraq, his wife, Shelia, said Thursday.
"He didn't want to go back, but he knew he had to," she said.
Staff Sgt. Lemon's brother, Society Hill Police Chief Charles Lemon, also is serving in Iraq. He is expected to return home this weekend to be with his family.