Reprint of original posted in 2010....
Name: Arnette, Jason Birthday: 11/07/1982 Date of Death: 04/01/2007 Age: 24 Rank: SSG Service: Army
"It's funny how things roll in your direction when you think everything is all good in the hood. Life can switch momentum on you in a flash but don't let it get you down as long as you can do something about it." - Jason Arnette in an email to his sister.
That is taken from a profile CJ did of this fallen hero on They Have Names.
I have written about Jason and his family a couple of times. A year ago, I wrote about a bridge being named to honour his service and sacrifice:
Friday, April 3, 2009Go here to read more of that day. I also included Mickey in My Heroes of the Year: The Families column here.
[...] SSG JASON R ARNETTE MEMORIAL BRIDGE.
Jason was a fine soldier, whose whole attitude in life was one of determination, honor, loyalty.
Mum Mickey gave a speech at the bridge dedication, which went - in part:
...One of Jason's dreams was to be the BEST OF BEST. He pushed himself to do the Best that he could strive for. That is the example he set for all us all. He wanted to go down in the record books being famous. And I guess he got that wish. He will never be Forgotten.He wrote a letter for my Birthday one year: let me read some of it to you now;Dear Mom,So your little man has now grown up. Ready to step in to the world stronger than ever. Just to let you know that you are my motivation with all things, all through life you have made me feel like I am the best at whatever it was I was doing or have done. I want to thank you for loving me the way you do. One thing I will always remember about myself is I always had my mother to keep me safe, I always had your love, and you pushed me along for all things and you would fight for me no matter what. Thank you Mom I will always love you. Love, Your little man Dayday...
I would like to quote another Gold Star Mother;
- America is blessed to have dedicated men and women who voluntarily commit to service in our armed forces. They stand in defense of the values and principles that made our nation great.
- God gives the heart of a warrior to those who are willing to answer the call for freedom and justice. They willingly sacrifice in hopes of contributing to a better world, Give honor where honor is due- to God who calls, to the grateful nation who sends, to the brave hero who goes and to the loved ones who prayerfully stay behind....
Beloved son, brother, husband, friend and HERO; three years since that day when Jason gave his all, his life matters, will always matter. The boy, the man, lives on in all who love him.
On the Arlington Cemetary site, there is this about Jason:
..."My son lived and died doing what he liked doing," his mother, Michelle Arnette, said last night. "He loved the discipline and the structure."
The bigger the challenge, his mother said, "the more he aspired to do it." During his five years in the Army, she said, he served one tour in Korea and was sent three times to Iraq.
Her son, she said, was "a special young fellow" who was so friendly that "he never met a stranger." At Amelia County High School, he had been in the ROTC and had played soccer, she said. Those who played with him remained among his closest friends, she said.
At 13 and again at 16, she said, Arnette and others from Amelia's Faith Christian Church traveled to Guatemala for the building projects.
In school, Arnette was a year ahead of Shenandoah Sky Hughes; they became close while he was in the Army and married in 2004.
"He was ready to start a life," his wife said last night. "He wanted kids. He would have been a really great father."
Arnette was adventurous, a lover of sports and the outdoors, and wanted to become a history teacher, his wife said.
She said he "accepted everybody" and believed he could "connect with anybody."...
[...] He loved to tell stories, she said, and "he loved me very, very much."
Go read more about this special young man here.
...They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them....
We will remember them
I promise you, Jason: I WILL always remember and honour you, and your family, with gratitude, respect and love.
A friend, and brother in arms, shared a story about Jason, that truly shows who he is. He gave me permission to add it here. Read on:
Thank you for sharing this, Russ, and thank YOU for your service..