Thursday, April 12, 2007

Army Cpl. Jason J. Beadles

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Jason J. Beadles, 22, of LaPorte, Ind.

Cpl. Beadles was assigned to the 887th Engineer Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died April 12 in Baghdad of a non-combat-related injury. The incident is under investigation.

Herald Argus -- LA PORTE — It has been two days since U.S. Army Spc. Jason Beadles, 22, of La Porte died in Iraq, and his family is still awaiting details.

It is believed Beadles, a heavy equipment operator, died as a result of eloctrocution, although his family doesn’t know if that occurred in combat or by accident.

The Herald-Argus spoke with Beadles’s mother, Delona Beadles, this morning and the family has no new information about their son’s death, although she was anticipating a call from a U.S. Army representative sometime today.

On Thursday, there were people inside the boyhood home of Beadles who would have otherwise never had a reason to be there.

When the La Porte High School 2003 graduate died in Iraq from an apparent electrocution Thursday, Sgt. First Class Henry Cox of the Hobart Reserve Unit came to the Monroe Street home, along with Rev. Bill Fine, pastor of United Church of Christ in Michigan City.

Only one other time in 2005 has Cox had to visit the family of a dead soldier to help with the funeral arrangements and explain the financial benefits. It’s not something he looked forward to doing Thursday, but it’s a responsibility that comes with the vocation.

“On one hand it’s an honor to be able to talk with the family of a fallen soldier, but it’s tough because you don’t want to see them break down. You try and provide what comfort you can. It’s tough,” he said. “It can be rewarding after everything is done in explaining the benefits, but in spite of all the things they are getting it doesn’t replace the child.”

A family friend called Fine and asked him to come over to the home Thursday. It’s not something he thought twice about, especially considering the fact that Jason, 22, dated his daughter Rachel while in high school. Fine was present for the family through the early grieving process, sharing stories about Jason and revealing the importance of God at such a difficult time.

“God is in charge of all life and we need to be seeking God’s strength at this time. When our lives get out of control it’s the God of life we can turn to,” he said.

While Sue Knop didn’t visit the home of the Beadles, the La Porte High School guidance counselor spoke highly of Jason.

“He was a wonderful student, and what a caring person. He was real affable, enthusiastic. He was the kind of son who would make a mother proud and the kind of student who would make a teacher proud,” she said.

Hervey Parker, welding instructor at A.K. Smith Career Center, became familiar with Jason the student who later earned his entry-level welding certification. For two years, Jason was a student of Parker’s.
“He was always happy. He was always concerned about other people,” Parker said. “He would always say, ‘Good Morning.’”

While the funeral arrangements are not complete, it’s likely late next week or early the following that people will say good-bye to Jason at his funeral in La Porte.

Army Cpl. Jason J. Beadles died in Baghdad, Iraq from non-combat related injuries on 4/12/07.

No comments: