America Gloria Lado of Brooklawn, age 87
WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Shichi-go-san---Seven-Five-Three Day in Japan

American Hero: Sgt. John A. Lyons, 26, of Seaside Park NJ

A South Jersey soldier died in Afghanistan this week, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Sgt. John A. Lyons, 26, of Seaside Park, Ocean County, died Wednesday in Ghazni province from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.

Lyons joined the military in February 2009 as a combat engineer. He had been assigned to the Eighth Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, in Fort Hood, Texas, since June 2009.

Lyons, who received numerous awards and decorations, deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December.