Saturday, August 06, 2011

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman

Remember Our Heroes

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Workman was assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team; died Aug. 6, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Workman, from a small town in southern Utah, had his sights set on becoming a SEAL as a young teenager.

Friend Tate Bennet said Workman was about 14 when his older brother graduated from West Point and that’s when he knew he wanted to be an elite soldier.

After high school, Workman served as a Mormon missionary in Brazil and earned a college degree in criminal justice. After returning from his Mormon mission, Workman went to Southern Utah University.

Workman enlisted in August 2003. He graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado in March 2005. He joined his East Coast-based SEAL team in August 2005.

“He didn’t become a Navy SEAL by chance,” Bennett said. “He knew that’s what he wanted at a young age and made it happen.”

Even as a SEAL, Workman came home periodically. During his last trip, he led training sessions with local law enforcement, sharing his military skills, and planned to provide more training during a trip home this fall, said Mayor Toni Turk.

Football coach Monty Lee, said, "It was, I think as close as you could be to losing a son."

Lee helped Workman win all state honors at San Juan High School. He recalled a game when a teammate had made a big mistake.

"The kid was upset with himself, and I happened to walk by. And Jason had his arm around him, and he said - he just simply said, hey, the sun is going to come up tomorrow. Forget about it."

The family says he wanted to be part of a calling bigger than himself. His younger brother, Corey, is a Blanding police officer. And on visits back home, Jason offered to share some of his tactical training with local officers.

During one of those visits, he burst into the coach's office unexpectedly. Lee said, "And without hesitation, he just stopped, and he walked over and gave me a great, big hug. And what kind of kid, you know, that has excelled and evolved into the person that he was would bother to stop and take time to acknowledge an old friend?"

According to San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge, Workman wanted to bring his family back to southern Utah.

"He told me - he says, you know what? I'm not going to be in the military all my life. And he was - he in fact had asked me that if I was to win the election as sheriff, he'd like to come back and would like to get into law enforcement. And he just wanted to come back to small-town Blanding and raise his family here."

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman was killed in action on 8/6/11.

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