This past September, Timothy Joseph Ashcraft of Cincinnati, Ohio and Ethan McKay Shrader of Prospect, Tennessee enlisted in the United States Army. The two were members of the 2nd Battalion 13th Infantry Regiment and were in their eighth week of training when they were killed during a training exercise on base. During a memorial service Tuesday, the two were remembered as brave aspiring soldiers who answered the call of duty.
Ashcraft and Shrader were members of the 2nd Battalion 13th Infantry Regiment and was in their eighth week of training. Among those who gave tributes was company commander Capt. Joaquin B. Jucaban who praised the mourning parents for raising good men.
"You can't ask for better sons. You have brought them up well and can't be prouder of what they have accomplished."
Both trainees had already earned awards, including the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Private Ashcraft's military occupational specialty was Shower/ Laundry & Clothing Specialist and Private Shrader's was Horizontal Construction Engineer.
Amid the soft sobs of family members and at least 150 infantry soldiers, Capt. Jucaban encouraged that Ashcraft and Shrader's earthly training and transformation was complete, but "their memories live on in every heart. Even when they're no more in an earthly army, I know they're surrounded by the legion of angels that will take them both under their heavenly wings."
Ashcraft and Shrader were killed, October 6th when a military vehicle drove into a troop formation. Six other soldiers were also injured in the collision. The crash remains under investigation by the Army. Fort Jackson is the Army's main production center for basic combat training. 50% of the army's basic combat training load is done at the base.