Sunday, July 13, 2008

Army Cpl. Jason M. Bogar

Remember Our Heroes

Army Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle

Cpl. Bogar was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy; died of wounds sustained when his outpost was attacked by small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from enemy forces in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13, 2008. Also killed were 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, Sgt. Israel Garcia, Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad.

Seattle Post Intelligencer -- Outnumbered by nearly four to one, 25-year-old Cpl. Jason Bogar and the eight other American soldiers he died with Sunday were among the small group of nearly 60 American and Afghan troops who fought a hellish battle, resorting to hand-to-hand fighting to prevent at least 200 Taliban militants from overrunning their small remote outpost in Afghanistan.

Bogar's parents, the Rev. Michael Bogar, pastor of the Spiritual Enrichment Center of West Sound on Bainbridge Island, and his mother, Bogar's ex-wife, Carlene Cross of Seattle, an author, college counselor and former KCTS/9 television producer in Seattle, learned of their son's death and heroism Sunday.

Wednesday, they heard more stunning news.

The base the soldiers had lost their lives to hold was being abandoned as indefensible, already quickly occupied by the Taliban, The Associated Press reported, citing military and government sources.

"It was outrageous to me to put those boys out there; they were just sitting ducks," Cross said Wednesday. "They fought for hours, and then got some air help, and turned them back. It is amazing. Jason died a hero, he fought hand to hand and I was told it was just unbelievable. And when (other troops) finally got to them, they were all dead."

She added: "One of the things I hope there will be is an investigation, and I hope they never do that again to any of our guys.

"We are really proud of him, and it's heartbreaking. We have to remember them the way they were and they way they would have wanted us to remember them. "

It was the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan in three years.

Bogar and those killed with him served with the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy.

The post was only two days old and occupied by 45 U.S. soldiers and 25 Afghan soldiers when it was attacked, The Times of London reported. Taliban fighters reportedly breached the outer defenses but were prevented from overrunning the base only after fierce hand-to-hand fighting and warplanes drove them back, it said.

Just over half of the U.S. garrison was killed or injured, with 15 wounded in the battle, in addition to the nine soldiers killed, The Times said.

Those who died with Bogar were: 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii; Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.; Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Ga.; Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tenn.; Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Ga.; Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C.; Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Mo.; and Pfc. Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Ky.

In addition to his parents, Bogar is survived by two sisters, Micael Bogar, and Carise Martindale, and a brother-in-law, Jesse Martindale, a former Marine who served in Iraq.

Cross said her son often volunteered for dangerous missions in part because he was single and felt he could spell married troops from potential hazards.

"He said 'I don't have a wife and I have a real camaraderie with those guys,' " she said.

Bogar attended Bothell High School but, having an independent streak in his teens, joined the Job Corps in Mount Vernon and earned a graduate equivalency diploma while becoming an electrician apprentice.

Though he had been a bit of "a wildcat" in school, Cross said, after going to Iraq and experiencing the death of friends or near-death himself, he grew closer to faith.

"His spirituality was profound," she said.

Bogar was the 24th member of the U.S. armed forces with ties to Washington to die in Afghanistan since the war began nearly seven years ago, shortly after 9/11.

Five have been killed this year as violence in Afghanistan has increased, while casualties in Iraq have decreased.

While a date and time have not been set, memorial services and burial with military honors for Bogar will be held at St. Mark's Cathedral and Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

The many who knew her son, who served with him in the National Guard and in the Army, have poured in messages of condolence with a common thread, Cross said.

"They all said he was a man of valor, and they were honored to serve with him," she said.

Army Cpl. Jason M. Bogar was killed in action on 7/13/08.

"Afghanistan" A song of tribute to Cpl. Jason Bogar

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am Steve Pichan, singer/songwriter/recording artist from Michigan. I
have just finished the production of "Afghanistan". My lyrics largely
were inspired by the last letter written by Jason Bogar before he was
killed in action on July 13, 2008. This song is a fitting tribute to all
who serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we have.
You can hear "Afghanistan" at:

In my song, I reflect on the love that Jason expressed for the Afghan
children and literally gave his life for them. Jason left us with many
wonderful pictures and videos from his time of duty as well as some
inspirational writings. For me, he represents the true spirit of an
American soldier.

I hope you will consider linking the song to your site.

I can be contacted via email or at 248-521-1558.

Steve Pichan