MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tributes are pouring in for a Mid-South man killed in Ukraine this past week.
Multiple sources have identified the man killed as Joshua Jones. His friends told WREG he lived in Memphis, and many said he died doing what he loved.
Just over six months into the Russia-Ukraine war, the death toll rises by the day.
His friends told us that he died last week. Jones became the third known US citizen killed in combat in the invasion.
“He did feel like a duty to help people. He had a very sense of strong honor and his sense of duty to help,” Tyler Rose, a friend told us.
Jones spent the last several months as a mercenary in Ukraine. While there he joined a volunteer unit called the Norman-Brigade (Brigade Normande) but then moved on to another unit. In a post on social media, they acknowledged his death and paid tribute to him, saying in part:
“We…we’re heartbroken when we received the news of one of brothers and former member, Joshua Jones. He was the kind of guy you want to have in your unit. His playful attitude got us through grey skies and there is no way we can forget him.”
In the months leading up to Jones going to Ukraine, he spent time training at local gym In the Memphis area, where he met Tyler Rose and formed a lifelong friendship.
“He was the kind of guy that held my head up for me when I didn’t really want to myself,” Rose said. “He really changed my life for the better the short time that I knew him he positively affected my life.”
Details surrounding Jones’ death are not known at this time. WREG did reach out to the state department for clarity.
They declined to identify him, issuing the following statement:
“We can confirm the death of a US citizen in Ukraine. Out of respect for the privacy of family, we have no further comment at this time.”
As loved ones struggle to make sense of his death, they try and take solace in the legacy he now leaves behind.
“He was a very loyal guy and the people that were closest to him meant a lot to him,” Rose said.
Joshua Jones was only 24 years old.
This week, we expect more details to be released about Jones. As we learn more, we will let you know.