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Soldier from Boynton Beach killed in suicide bombing in Syria: DOD

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, killed in Syria. (DOD)

A soldier and father from Boynton Beach is among the four Americans killed in a suicide blast in Syria.

The Department of Defense identified the victim as Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37. Farmer served with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Farmer was deployed to Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. According to the DOD, he was killed Wednesday in Manbij, Syria, as a result of wounds from a suicide improvised explosive device.

He went to The Benjamin School. The school called him a true warrior.

"Jon is fondly remembered as a Buccaneer with a big heart and commitment to service," the school wrote on Twitter.

Cathy White, a neighbor, called Farmer a family friend who played basketball and baseball.

“He was a friend of two of my sons," said White. "They went to high school together and they have been good friends for 22 years they’ve known each other.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis also offered his condolences to Farmer's family.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all our men and women in uniform serving our country," DeSantis wrote.

Congresswoman Lois Frankel offered her thoughts and prayers.

"Jonathan selflessly served our country, and his courage and sacrifices won't be forgotten," Frankel wrote on Twitter.

Congressman Ted Deutch also offered his condolences on Twitter.

"We owe them our undending gratitude," Rep. Deutch wrote on Twitter.

US Senator and former Florida governor Rick Scott said the state joins Farmer's family in honoring his bravery and service.

"This is a reminder of the dangers our servicemen and women face," Scott added.

The DOD identified two of the three additional victims as:

  • Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York. Kent was assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, based at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
  • DOD civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri. Wirtz was assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency as an operations support specialist

The fourth American has not been identified.

The incident is under investigation, the Department of Defense said.

Farmer had a wife and four children, and served six overseas combat tours since 2007. He's received numerous awards including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.


STATEMENT FROM THE BENJAMIN SCHOOL

It is the heaviest of hearts that we learn about the passing of Benjamin alumnus, Jon Farmer '99. Although it has been nearly 20 years since Jon graduated from our school, our alumni are Buccaneers for life. We remember Jon as a great student and athlete who truly excelled on the basketball team. The Benjamin School is proud of Jon's service to our country, and we mourn with the rest of the nation at the loss of a true American warrior.

The following quote is from David Bailey, Head Athletic Trainer at The Benjamin School:

“Jon made such an impact on me when he came to the school. He was an incredible person and made the school a better place by being here. Mature beyond his years and a true leader.“

STATEMENT FROM DEPT. OF DEFENSE

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida died of wounds sustained during an attack while conducting a local engagement in Manbij, Syria, January 16, 2019.

Born April 27, 1981, Farmer joined the U.S. Army on March 30, 2005. He attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2005 followed by the Special Forces Qualification Course. He graduated in 2007 as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant and was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), where he remained throughout his career.

Farmer was selected to attend the Special Forces Warrant Officer Candidate School, where he earned his commission in 2016. Following graduation, he was selected to serve as an Assistant Detachment Commander.

Farmer served on six overseas combat tours. Twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in October 2007 and January 2009; once in support of Operation New Dawn in August 2010; once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from January 2012; and twice in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in January 2018 and January 2019 until his passing.

Farmer’s military education includes One Station Unit Training, the Basic Airborne Course, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, the Advanced Special Operations Technical Course, the Advanced Leader’s Course, Special Forces Warrant Officer Candidate School, the Special Forces Warrant Officer Basic Course, and the Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification Course.

Farmer’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon with one campaign star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO medal, Special Forces Tab, Parachutist Badge, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Farmer is survived by his spouse, four children, and his parents.

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