Sunday, November 18, 2007

Army Cpl. Jason T. Lee

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Jason T. Lee, 26, of Fruitport, Mich.

Cpl. Lee was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Nov. 18, 2007 in Balad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated during a mounted patrol in Baqubah. Also killed were Pfc. Marius L. Ferrero and Cpl. Christopher J. Nelson.

WWMT -- FRUITPORT (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The U.S Government says Iraq is now at its safest since the 2003 invasion. However, as a West Michigan family found out, patrolling the streets can be deadly.

Jason T. Lee, 26, of Fruitport died on patrol Sunday. An explosive detonated near his unit in Baquabah. Two others also died.

Jason Lee attended high school in Fruitport for two years in the late 1990's. But Tuesday, some teachers say they still have vivid memories of him as a teenager.

Jason Lee was a beginning Spanish student with Kerri Jacobs. “He was a free spirit,” said Jacobs.

A teenager with long hair, always carrying his guitar. That love of music has stayed strong. But when Jason returned to Fruitport High a few years ago, Kerri saw someone else.

“He walked into my room and I didn't even recognize him,” said Jacobs. He had joined the army and outgrown that teenage body. Monday, the corporal was on patrol in Baqubah when a bomb exploded nearby.

“It's shocking, makes me feel sad, upset,”said Jacobs.

Tuesday the news of his death was just beginning to filter through the high school hallways. His family said in a statement - "He was a very good man with a huge heart. If you were lucky enough to meet him, it is unlikely you would or could ever forget him."

“Everybody loved him, he was kind of mischievous, but in a good way,” said Jacobs.

Kerri Jacobs felt lucky enough to meet and teach Jason. Tuesday she's remembering the final time she ever saw him.

“He commented about how he matured and he apologized for his behavior in class, which he didn't need to do,” said Jacobs.

School records show Jason got his GED in 2005. He had only been in Iraq since June.

Army Cpl. Jason T. Lee was killed in action on 11/18/07.

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