Thursday, March 03, 2011

Army Sgt. Jason M. Weaver

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Jason M. Weaver, 22, of Anaheim, Calif.

Sgt Weaver was assigned to 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; died March 3, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Spc. Jason M. Weaver was the soldier in the lead when his squad went on foot patrols through the streets of Kandahar, in southeastern Afghanistan. It was a dangerous position in a dangerous place, but Weaver volunteered for it.

Weaver, 22, of Anaheim, died last week in the explosion of an improvised explosive during one of those foot patrols. He was on his first overseas deployment, and was looking forward to coming home in three months.

"He knew it was a dangerous job" to be the point man on foot patrol, his friend Spc. Brian Gabel said in an Army account. "But that's the kind of guy he was: the kind who wanted to lead the way for his team and be there to protect them if they were in danger."

Weaver graduated from El Dorado High School in Placentia in 2007 and enlisted in the U.S. Army a few months later. He was assigned to the 170th Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

He deployed to Afghanistan in June 2010, according to Army records. He wrote on his Facebook page that he expected to be home again in June – back in Orange County. "I love it down there; its got everything and more," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Weaver "set the tone" on patrols by building good relationships with Afghan villagers, the commander of his combat team recalled at a weekend memorial in Afghanistan, according to the Army account. A video posted online shows him playfully shaking hands with Afghan children.

He posted a picture of himself tousling the hair of a crying child; a friend wrote that the child didn't seem to like him much. "Lol no he didn't until I pulled out a piece of gum and then he was the happiest lil dude ever," Weaver wrote back.

Attempts to reach Weaver's friends and family were unsuccessful.

The Army promoted Weaver to the rank of sergeant after his death on March 3. He earned 10 medals and other awards during his service, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and medals for participating in the Afghanistan campaign and the Global War on Terror.

"I knew Jason for about 2 years," Gabel wrote in a video he posted online to celebrate Weaver's life. "In that time he became more than a life long friend to me but a brother. I miss him more and more everyday. See you in the afterlife. I love you."

Army Sgt. Jason M. Weaver was killed in action on 3/3/11.

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