California soldier with Maine ties seriously injured in Afghanistan

Posted June 20, 2012, at 12:07 p.m.
Last modified June 20, 2012, at 1:09 p.m.
Pvt. 1st Class Jonathan Harmon
Courtesy of Facebook
Pvt. 1st Class Jonathan Harmon

MILO, Maine — A soldier who was born in Dover-Foxcroft and now lives in Cedarville, Calif., was seriously injured earlier this month while serving in Afghanistan, relative and Milo resident Ron Knowles said Wednesday.

Pvt. 1st Class Jonathan Harmon, 19, a member of the 473 Cavalry, a unit of the 82nd Airborne Division, was on foot patrol in the Maiwand District in the Kandahar Valley of Afghanistan when he was injured by an improvised explosive device. The IED exploded and tore apart his right leg and seriously injured the other, according to a reports June 14 in the Modoc County Record News, based in Alturas, Calif.

“The first time we talked, he told me, ‘I lost a leg, Mom, but I still have another one, so don’t worry about me,’” his mother, Sue Harmon, told her local newspaper. “One of his nurses later told me she’s never had a patient with such a positive spirit!”

Harmon’s family moved from Maine to California when he was young, but they still have ties to Maine. His grandmother, Dolly Harmon, lives in Milo and his sister Paige Harmon lives in Bangor, Knowles said.

Jonathan Harmon had emergency surgery on his left leg in Afghanistan and another operation when he was transferred to Germany, but surgeons were unable to save his injured leg.

He was scheduled to be transported to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., this week, Knowles said.

“They ended up having to take the other leg,” he said. “His father said he seems very upbeat and said as much as ‘It’s OK. I’m coming home.’”

The Milo man said he remembers Harmon running around town wearing an Army uniform.

“He always dressed up in his Army fatigues and he always wanted to be a Marine but he ended up in the Army,” said Knowles, a retired Marine who served in the Korean War. “He wanted to be a soldier right from the time he was a young boy.”

The California newspaper said a community benefit dinner is scheduled for June 23 to help the Harmon family with expenses they may incur in the aftermath of his injuries.

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