Family and friends are coming together to remember a man lost in combat in Afghanistan, a man characterized as a true friend and loving family member.
“He was a hero,” Lois Jones of Box Elder said about her son, Staff.
Sgt. Shane Barnard.
Barnard was described as a caring, helpful man, dedicated to his family and an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish — and serve his country.
Barnard was killed by wounds sustained May 19 when an explosive device detonated while he was working to defuse another such device.
Barnard, who originally was trained as a combat medic, was assigned as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist to the 3rd Ordnance Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Barnard, whose maternal grandparents, Joseph and Hazel Stuker live in Havre, attended grade school here then high school in Great Falls and in Italy, where he graduated.
Jones said the movement was with her husband, Robert Jones, who is a retired military man himself.
The family moved with him to where he was stationed, she said.
Jones said her son’s family and friends will gather in De Smet, S.D., to mourn him in a funeral scheduled June 2. A memorial also is planned for later at Fort Lewis.
She added that he impacted many in his life, with people from back in his high school days planning to attend the service.
His wife, Jennifer, and children, Ashley, 14, Trinity, 9, and
D. J., 8, will stay in Washington in Olympia, where they were living while Barnard was stationed at Fort Lewis, will stay until school is out. They then will move back to South Dakota, Jones said.
She said Shane Bernard, her oldest child, always was a “rock” for the family.
“Iguess, since he was little, he tried to take care of everybody,” she said.
“He was always just a very caring man,” Jones added.