Staff Sgt. Jesse Ault of Dublin in Pulaski County was 28. He was serving with E Company in the 429th Brigade Support Battalion out of Roanoke.
A native of Wheeling, W.Va., who grew up in Middlebourne, W.Va., Ault joined the U.S. Army while still in high school and joined the National Guard after moving to Virginia.
Yesterday, his wife, Betsy Ault, said she and her husband were dating in 2004 when their unit was deployed to Balad, Iraq. They returned to Virginia and married, she said, and her husband was "100 percent family," relishing time spent playing with her son, Nathan, 10, and their toddler, Adam, 1. He was so devoted to the family, she said, that he decided to take her place after her unit was told it was being sent to Iraq.
"Jesse separated from the Guard after the deployment [to Iraq], but I was still serving when my unit was alerted early 2007," she said. "Jesse loved our family so much and saw how important it was for me to stay with my sons, he joined the National Guard again to take my place on the deployment.
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