Boyne City soldier killed in Afghanistan
U.S. Army Pvt. 2nd Class Jack Lee Diener, 20, recently died in Afghanistan. (Courtesy photo)
U.S. flags in Boyne City are at half-staff following the news that U.S. Army Pvt. 2nd Class Jack Lee Diener, 20, recently died while serving in the war in Afghanistan. He graduated Boyne City High School in 2009.
Details remain unknown about when and how Diener was killed.
“We don’t have any idea what exactly happened, only that he was in a bad place,” said Donna Diener, his grandmother.
Diener is the son of Jack and Val Diener, of Boyne City, and also is survived by his sister, Marcie Diener, of Petoskey, among extended family. Both family and friends gathered in Boyne City today as information about Diener’s death trickled in.
Karen Jarema, high school principal, said Diener was an active athlete, playing football and baseball while in school, as well as wrestling. He also spent his junior year as a foreign exchange student in Denmark, she said.
Diener was a good student and well-liked, Jarema said.
“Jack was a very independent student and had strong desires. He was able to be successful at anything he wished to be,” she said.
This is a hard loss for the high school and the whole community, she said.
Don Nohel, the high school wrestling coach, said he was proud of Diener’s growth both as an athlete and a student.
“He was not afraid to work for something he set his mind to,” he said. “As a wrestler, I saw him overcome many difficult moments and bounce back and put himself out there again.”
Nohel said Diener had a lot of courage and it was a pleasure to see his growth on his “Denmark adventure.”
“Jack was a unique individual, not really caught up in what other people did, but more interested in making his own way and mark in the world. It is sad that Jack’s adventure ended so soon. We will miss him,” Nohel said.
Donna Diener said her grandson’s parents will travel out East to meet the casket as his body arrives back in the United States. He wasn’t gone long, shipping out about two months ago.
“He was a sweetheart, very quiet and a good kid,” Donna Diener said.
The U.S. Department of Defense has not yet confirmed Diener’s death.