Sunday, September 8, 2013

special visit...

 
 
A little over 6 years ago when Ben and I were engaged and he was overseas he made a regular call to me. When he was gone we were able to talk more then I thought we would and I loved it. This phone call was different, there was sadness in his voice. We got though a very short how are you to him saying, "today was a bad day." That is all I got on that. Because I was not married I didn't get the red line calls or emails to let me know of injuries or fatalities with the boys. He couldn't go on about what had happened via the phone or email due to safety measures. All I knew is that from his voice it was bad. Later I came to find out that he had lost one of his buddies Jason.
 
Here is a little about Jason from the Ranger's Lead the Way Fund...        
 
               
Cpl. Jason M. Kessler, 29, was an automatic rifleman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash. He was born on Oct. 21, 1977, in Long Beach, Calif.
He was killed on July 30, 2007, while engaged in combat operations in northern Iraq when the tactical vehicle he was riding in was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. This was his third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After graduating high school in Mount Vernon, Wash., Kessler attended The Masters College, Santa Clarita, Calif., and earned a bachelor of arts in biblical studies. He was continuing his education at the University of Washington, Seattle Campus with emphasis on philosophy.
 
Kessler enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Mount Vernon in January 2005 and completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.
He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in June 2005 and was then assigned to 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment. He served there as an Automatic Rifleman.
 
Kessler’s awards and decorations include Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Ranger Tab.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
 
As a Ranger, Kessler distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light infantry unit, traveled to all corners of the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism and fought valiantly to “uphold the prestige, honor, and high ‘esprit de corps’” of the Ranger Regiment. 
 
{ben in front of jasons memorial inside the battalion building on bens retirement day}
 
Just weeks before Ben and Jason, along with a few others had just climbed and peaked Mt. Rainier together. This was Ben's 3rd time reaching the summit and Jason's first. Ben loved taking guys up and showing them an amazing time and exploring Gods mountain. That day they both raced back down the mountain for family gatherings!
 
I never had the honor of meeting Jason but Ben spoke very highly of him. Ben had always wanted to meet Jasons parents and pay them his respects. His memorial was while the boys were still deployed so that was a missed opportunity. After the boys came home we married and moved to GA. About 2 years ago when we moved back I wrote Jasons mom a letter about our accident and current situation as she would want to know. She wrote back saying she knew exactly who Ben was because she had a photo of the boys on Mt. Rainier!
 
Yesterday was my cousins wedding which happened to be close to where Jason's parents live. We decided to take off Friday so that we could spend some time with them. We decided that Red Robin would be a great place and Ben couldn't agree more! I mean who can say no to their steak fries...and refills! We had an amazing time with them and it was an honor to finally meet the parents of an amazing soldier! We were able to swap stories and hear from them and Ben.
 
 
 
Remember to keep our soldiers in your prayers but also their families. Families who have lost their husbands, sons, daughters and so many more. They need our prayers not just when these soldiers pass away but on a continual basis...
 
{cousins wedding}
 

2 comments:

Brittney Liann said...

Thank you for sharing Jason's story with us. :) He was a true hero and I am glad you guys were able to meet his family and share stories together. I'm sure it meant so much to his family!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dear One, I so remember our heroes and their sacrifices. Their families, too are some of America's finest. I am blessed you were able to meet Jason's mom and dad. I KNOW they were glad to meet you guys to. For a moment they had their son back again. I love you and am honored to walk a portion of your journey with you.
Marion