Monday, May 29, 2006

Army Specialist Jeremy M. Loveless

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Jeremy M. Loveless, 25, of Estacada, Ore.

Spc Loveless was assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; killed May 29 when his Stryker came under enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Mosul, Iraq.

The Oregonian

Oregon loses a soldier who dared himself to keep going higher
As an Army medic, Jeremy Loveless had figured out how best to help his country, colleagues and family

Few people have figured things out by age 25, but Army Spcl. Jeremy Loveless believed he was well on his way. Early on, he'd found a strong faith and established a happy family. But in the past three years he'd found something else he'd been looking for -- his footing on an ascending career path.

A stint in the Army as a field medic, treating injured Iraqis, wasn't supposed to be Loveless' final stop, but only an interim destination to help him land a job. On Memorial Day, however, Loveless was killed near Mosul, Iraq. He is the 58th soldier with ties to Oregon to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the second graduate of Gresham High School to die.

People who knew Loveless in high school never pictured him in the Army. In high school, he was one of those kids who makes an impression on his teachers, though, not because he was a star (although he did play varsity soccer) but because he didn't live in the cool zone most teenagers inhabit, or at least pretend to occupy. Loveless was open, warm and inclined to heart-to-hearts. "That's the hardest thing for me," counselor Scott Lipner said Wednesday. Jeremy "was someone who was genuinely here to help others."

Loveless helped to start a group at Gresham High for Christian athletes and considered becoming a youth minister. He tried many things, including window washing, which helped him conquer his fear of heights. Three years ago, his friend and mentor Joe Schwab encouraged Loveless to try volunteer firefighting in Estacada, and Loveless -- an avid outdoorsman and rock climber -- became hooked.

Joining the Army was a way to pay for paramedic training, and secure a future for his family. As hard as it was to be so far away from wife, Melissa, and 4-year-old daughter, Chloe, Loveless enjoyed sharpening his skills, with one caveat. "I'm learning a lot over here," he wrote on March 20. " . . . But . . . when I'm called to do my job, it means something went wrong and somebody got hurt."

On Monday, it was Jeremy Loveless. Daughter Chloe has been told her dad is gone, but thinks he may only be visiting heaven, just as he visited her last year in Estacada.

We wish, too, that he were coming home soon.

Army Specialist Jeremy M. Loveless was killed in action on 05/29/06.

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