Former Kansas Man Killed in Afghanistan

KSAL StaffJune 6, 2013
An Overland Park native has died in the war in Afghanistan

An Overland Park native has died in the war in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense says 2nd Lt. Justin Lee Sisson and another soldier were killed Monday after their unit was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

The 23-year-old Sisson graduated from Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park in 2007. He earned a history degree from Florida State University and then completed Army Ranger School last fall.

Lee will be buried at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, where both of his grandfathers are buried. The date for his burial has not been determined.

He is survived by his parents and an older brother.


2LT Justin Lee Sisson was born July 16, 1989 to Kevin and Phyllis Sisson, and his older brother Ryan. Growing up, Justin loved playing sports and was an avid Baseball Player and High School Wrestler. He was Co-Captain of his High School wrestling team, was regional champion his senior year and qualified for State tournament twice. Justin also earned his Eagle Scout badge at age 15.

He graduated from Blue Valley West High School in 2007. He received a ROTC Scholarship and attended Florida State University, in Tallahassee, FL. His Father’s Alma Mater. Justin received two separate appointments to the US Military Academy at West Point, but elected to stay at FSU.

During his Freshman year at FSU, Justin joined the Florida National Guard, and completed Basic Training and AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO., where was the Honor Graduate for his class. Between his sophomore and junior years at Florida State, he chose to deploy with his National Guard Unit as a PFC, for a year in Mosul, Iraq. He was promoted to Specialist and received the Bronze Star for his exceptional service during this deployment.

Upon returning to FSU in 2010, Justin graduated and commissioned as a 2nd LT in the US Army in April 2012. He earned the George C. Marshall Award as the top cadet. Justin completed IBOLC, as the Honor Graduate for his class. He completed Air Assault, Airborne, Sapper and Ranger schools before being assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 1-506th IN, 4 BCT at Ft. Campbell, KY, in January 2013.

He deployed to Afghanistan in April 2013, where he was KIA by a Vehicle Borne Suicide Bomber on June 3, 2013 while leading his platoon and providing security for the Afghans in Chamkani.

Among his awards are:

Two Bronze Star Medals with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Sapper Tab and Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge and Parachutist Badge.

Justin is buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas where both of his grandfathers who served are also buried.