UPDATE:(4:03 p.m.CDT) Local soldier dies in bomb attack in Afghanistan

Published 9:51 am Monday, June 22, 2009

PLANTERSVILLE — Everybody knew him as “Mojo.” But officially, he was known as U.S. Army Sgt. Ricky Dewayne Jones.

Jones died Sunday after a rocket attack at Bagram, a U.S. base in Afghanistan about 25 miles northeast of Kabul. Another soldier died in the attack and six Americans — four military and two civilians — were wounded. The Department of Defense released a statement acknowledging the fatality.

“I don’t know how he got the name Mojo,” said his mother, Shelia McCrary. “I was young when I had him. His grandmother and grandfather must have given him that name. Maybe because he moved so fast.”

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And Jones was known at Dallas County High School for his speed. He was a running back on the varsity football team. No. 3.

“He was the best No. 3,” his mother said.

McCrary said military officials notified her of Jones’ death Sunday. He died instantly when a rocket hit his living quarters at the air base. He was assigned to the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Polk, La. The brigade organized at Fort Polk in 2007, the first of its kind in the regular Army.

A public relations spokesman at Fort Polk said he had no additional information on the events surrounding Jones’ death.

Jones had come home in March on a two-week leave to help his mother as she recovered from hip surgery. He was fine, but knew he had to return to his duty station.

While he was home, he visited his father, Willie Tyus.

“He was feeling good,” Tyus said. “He told me he loved it.”

Jones enlisted in the military shortly after graduating from Dallas County High School in 2001, his father said.

On Friday night, McCrary talked to her son for what would be the last time. He called about 9:30 p.m. local time.

“He was feeling fine,” Jones’ mother said. “His son’s birthday was coming up and he said he was sending something.”

Jones has three children — two 4-year-olds and a 2-year-old.

Two weeks prior in a telephone conversation with his mother, Jones told her about some bombing in the area.

“He said about 15 were killed over there,” McCrary said.

Jones’ body arrived in Delaware about 11 a.m. Monday. His remains will be shipped to Alabama in about three days, his mother said.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.