Soldier with ties to Greenville County dies in Iraq

Spc. Javion Shavonte Sullivan (Courtesy: Willis Sullivan)
Spc. Javion Shavonte Sullivan (Courtesy: Willis Sullivan)

AL ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ (DoD NEWS RELEASE/WSPA) – The Department of Defense announced  the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Spc. Javion Shavonte Sullivan, 24, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, died Jan. 8 in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident.

Sullivan was assigned to the 16th Signal Company, 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. The incident is under investigation.

Sullivan’s family says he enlisted in the army in 2015 and left for his first deployment in September.

“I knew in my heart,” Cynthia Sullivan, Javion’s mother said. “I knew the end result. I just knew it.”

She said she begged and pleaded with her son to not enlist but says it didn’t take long to see that was his passion. Now, she holds on to the happy memories and one of the last messages she received from him.

“I got a text Sunday, saying I love you, so that’s what I have,” Sullivan said.

She and Javion’s father, Willis Sullivan, said he died doing what he loved.

“He was willing to go through that sacrifice of missing all of us to support his country,” Willis Sullivan said. “That’s what he wanted.”

Javion leaves behind a wife, a three-year-old daughter, his parents, two siblings, and a niece and nephew.

His family says they’ve received a lot of support from the community in the Upstate and Fort Mill area as well as from military families across the country.

“We all belong to a fraternity now that is very painful, and we need to support each other, all that means so much,” Willis Sullivan said.

The Department of Defense says they’re still investigating the death.

“If it took my son laying down his life, the how’s and why’s are not important to me,” Cynthia Sullivan said.

The Sullivan family is flying to Dover Air Force Base Thursday to welcome Sullivan’s body home.

Sullivan’s niece says she wants to dedicate every January 8th from now on to remembering her favorite uncle.