Charlotte soldier killed in Afghanistan honored for dedication to U.S., Haiti
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CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte soldier killed a week ago in Afghanistan is being remembered for his dedication to the United States and his hometown in Haiti.
Junot Cochilus, 34, was killed, along with another soldier, by an IED on May 2. Friends say he was always positive, determined, and kind. Those who knew him best say Cochilus accomplished every challenge he set for himself.
The Haitian immigrant moved to the United States with almost nothing.
"Because of position with the UN his countrymen decided that he was a threat to their current government. He left under the threat of death," said Life coach and friend, Bill Brown.
Brown said Cochilus worked for the United Nations before moving to the United States. Cochilus worked toward citizenship and enlisted in the Army in March of 2010.
"His whole demeanor, whole spirit of life was giving back to people. And making life more secure for people," said Brown.
Friend and mentor Pastor Jean Telfort said Cochilus had no regrets or fear about going to war. Cochilus had plans to continue work with a foundation for Haitian orphans and become a full time missionary.
Telfort said his friend wanted to lead by example; he was kind and dedicated and always willing to help. He received several awards during his enlistment including a Purple Heart.
"I think of Junot not just as 'an American Hero', but a worldwide humanitarian," said Brown.
Steele Creek Church of Charlotte is working on a memorial service for Junot Cochilus.