Family speaks of love after Claremore soldier Jon Townsend's death

CLAREMORE, Okla. - The only thing he ever wanted was to serve his country. That's how the family of a fallen Oklahoma teenager describes their soldier.

According to family members, 19-year-old Jon Townsend from Claremore was killed Sunday during a secret mission in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Townsend was one of seven American soldiers to die in the attack.

Jon's wife Brittany sat down with 2News reporter Liz Bryant for an exclusive interview.

Townsend and wife Brittany both went to Sequoyah-Claremore High School, never meeting until prom night.

Brittany Townsend describes their instant connection, saying the couple was immediately wanting to marry.

But then-Brittany Carden was only 17 at the time, prompting mother Nancy Carden's apprehension at marital thoughts before high school graduation.

So the pair waited, and in February Carden surprised the couple with a wedding while Jon was home for two weeks.

"How would you like to marry my daughter while you're home?" Carden recalls telling Townsend. The soldier started to cry, Carden says.

Townsend used all of his money from basic training to buy the ring.

"He was such a loving husband. He was the kind of guy that if I tried to open my own door I got yelled at," Brittany Townsend said.

Jon Townsend's mother Katy Nelson tells similar stories about her youngest son.

"He never left this house without telling us he loved us," she said.

On Sunday, Brittany sat waiting for her husband's call while admiring the flowers he had sent three days earlier. "Only a month and a half left. Be strong and keep faith baby," the note read.

Townsend's family is leaving Tuesday for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to await the young soldier's  dignified transfer.

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