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Edmunds relished being a Ranger



(CNN) -- To his high school friend Billy Inman, Spc. Jonn Edmunds had become the picture-perfect soldier.

"To look at him, in his outfit, just in his eyes and facial expression, you could see just how serious about the military he was, about the United States and defending his country," Inman said.

Edmunds, 20, from Cheyenne, Wyoming, was one of two soldiers killed Friday in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter in Pakistan. The other was Pfc. Kristofor Stonesifer, 28, of Missoula, Montana. Both were members of the 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Family members, friends and teachers in Cheyenne Monday remembered Edmunds as a serious, driven perfectionist who had a dry sense of humor.

Speaking to reporters outside his home Monday, Edmunds' father Donn called him "an outstanding citizen, outstanding student and outstanding son" who loved to take care of people, The Associated Press reported.

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"He wasn't just a good kid, he was as good a kid as this community has to offer," Dennis Coelho, Edmunds' American history teacher at Cheyenne's East High School, told CNN.

Wayne Korhonen taught Edmunds during his senior year.

"I remember him in my psychology class as a very focused, excellent student," he said. "He was a class leader. He was a quiet leader."

At East High, Edmunds played soccer and was a delegate to Wyoming Boys State. He also immersed himself in weightlifting and loved playing paintball, Inman said.

Edmunds, whose father is a Vietnam veteran and retired military police officer, entered the Army soon after graduation in 1999 and became a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Edmunds and his wife Anne were married last year before a justice of the peace in Cheyenne and were planning to renew their vows in November, Inman said.

When Korhonen saw Edmunds more than a year ago, they talked about how his training was going.

"What I noticed in him was an increasing sense of responsibility, that they were giving him responsibility, and it was something he was attracted towards and did well in," he said.

Although Edmunds was considering attending college, Korhonen sensed he had found a calling in the military.

"Jonn was doing what he wanted to do. He was where he wanted to be," he said. "Knowing Jonn, he wanted to be right at the tip of the sword, so to speak."



 
 
 
 



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