Saturday, August 19, 2006

Army Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson, 21, of Jacksonville, Fla.

Sgt. Jackson was assigned to the 710th Combat Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; killed Aug. 19 when an improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle in Kunar, Afghanistan. Also killed were Spc. Robert E. Drawl Jr. and Spc. Christopher F. Sitton.

By Victor Blackwell
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- In mourning and in celebration the two families of Wakkuna Jackson merged.

There were the blood relatives who loved carefree Wakkuna, 21, who served her church; and the military members who respected Sergeant Jackson who served her country.

Her casket was draped in the colors she died for as family members admired military formality.

Like in-laws, the two families shared stories about Wakkuna Jackson at work and at play.

"She was just a really cheerful person," said Mary Hester attended church with Jackson.

All the smiles faded after she was killed in Afghanistan when Taliban fighters ambushed her vehicle.

"She just really gave everything she had," said Sgt. Charles Bartell served alongside Sgt. Jackson.

"Even with the way things were over there, I never heard her say anything negative about anyone or anything," added Sgt. Bartell.

"It takes a strong person to be able to do that. That strong person was Wakkuna," said friend Ramonda Walton. "She was always willing and able to give a helping hand to help anyone in need," she added.

As two very different families said good-bye Wakkuna Jackson, they realized that on this day Jackson made them one family in their mourning of a life lost and the celebration of what they gained.

Army Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson was killed in action on 08/19/06.

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