Native Savannahian Killed by Friendly Fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/08/03

Native Savannahian Killed by Friendly Fire

According to the Pentagon, the first native Savannahian has died fighting with the Third Infantry Division in Iraq. Capt. Jason Korn was shot by friendly fire as he was investigating the wreckage of a destroyed Iraqi tank. It's been a rough few days since his family learned of his death. They knew when Army men showed up in dress greens on Friday that the news wasn't good.

When Korn knew war with Iraq was likely, he asked to be deployed. His unit out of Fort Knox wasn't deployed, so he was sent to hitch up with the Third Infantry Division. As a Gulf War, veteran he told his family he wanted fight for his country again.

"He loved the Army, he lived to be in the Army," said Alexis Holt, his sister.

Capt. Korn was grew up in Savannah. He spent three years at the Bethesda Home for Boys, and joined the Army the day after he got his diploma. He went back to visit every time he was home.

"He was very close to a number of staff members here," said Dr. David Tribble of Bethesda. "Every time he'd come, he'd have to make the rounds around campus, see what everybody was doing, how their families were doing."

He promised his family he'd be home safe. But last week his sister had a bad feeling.

"For some reason it just kept rolling, across the TV," she recalled, that an American soldier had been shot by friendly fire.

"My brother got out to inspect an Iraqi tank, an F-15 came over and shot him," she sadi.

Capt. Korn was mistaken for an Iraqi as he checked to make sure the enemies and their tank were destroyed. Korn died right there in the Iraqi dessert. They say he was a loving person, and died doing what he loved most: being a soldier.

"He was a hero. He fought for his country. He loved his country," said Holt.

The family is trying to make funeral arrangements, but says it's difficult as they're not sure when his body will come home. They ask that anybody wishing to make a contribution do so to the Bethesda Home for Boys, which meant so much to him.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

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