COLUMBIA, S.C. — A soldier with the South Carolina National Guard who was serving in Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield has died.
The United States Department of Defense confirmed that 20-year-old Specialist Jayson Reed Haven of Aiken died on May 25 in a rollover crash at Camp Buehring that was not combat-related.
U.S. Army Major General Van McCarty, who serves as the adjutant general for the South Carolina Military Department, expressed his sympathies for Haven's loved ones and described him as a member of his own family.
"As the Adjutant General, it is impossible for me not to feel this loss on a personal level. Soldiers and their families are the fabric that holds our South Carolina Military Department together," McCarty said in a statement. "There is nothing that I can say or offer to the family of Spc. Haven but know my thoughts and prayers and that of a great many South Carolinians are with you. You are not alone in grieving, we are with you."
In addition to serving with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment with the South Carolina National Guard, Haven also served as a member of Task Force Rattler.
The commander of the task force, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel McDowell, described Haven as "the consummate Infantryman."
"He had the unique ability to bring humor to difficult situations while executing every task with technical and tactical competence," McDowell said. "Spc. Haven’s influence will have lasting impacts throughout the Rattler formation."