Monday, February 15, 2010

Marine Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Ga.

Pfc. Estopinal was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 15, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The Estopinal family, which lives in Dallas, found out about Estopinal's death a few hours after it happened. "It's still hard to believe," his father, Jason Estopinal, said Wednesday night from his home. "We're accepting it. But it's something we were not expecting."

The Marine was a popular student and a member of the soccer team at East Paulding High School before graduating in 2007, his father said. In January 2009, he left for boot camp, where he spent the next several months.

"He’s only been a Marine for a little over a year," his father said. "He was deployed in late October and was due to come back in May."

The family is making funeral arrangements and planning to bury the Marine at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

Marine PFC Jason Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Georgia, was killed in action Monday while serving in Afghanistan. PFC Estopinal was on patrol and died when an IED detonated.

He was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom combat operations in Helmand province. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

"He was doing what he wanted to do," said PFC Estopinal's father, Jason Estopinal, from the family's home near Dallas Tuesday.

Relatives and friends visited the family -- Jason, Clare and their younger son, Parker --throughout the day and into the night. An American flag flew above the front steps. In the living room, the family displayed photos of PFC Estopinal, along with a scrapbook of his service in the Marines.

He graduated from East Paulding High School in 2007, then went to work for the Cobb County Parks and Recreation Department. But, his father said, he talked often about a career in the Marines -- to serve his country and to further his education.

He enlisted in January, 2009, and was sent to Afghanistan in October, a month after his 21st birthday. "He was one of the most honest people I ever knew," said his father, "almost to a fault. I was very proud of him. Still am.... Everybody was always proud of him. He was a good kid. He was a great man."

The Estopinals expect to receive their son home, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, this weekend.

In addition to his father, the Marine is survived by his mother, Claire, and his brother Parker, an 11th grader at East Paulding.

Marine Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal was killed in action on 2/15/10.

1 comment:

Paula Tyler said...

Please see my tribute to Jason, an American Hero!