Army Pfc. Jason G. Wright

Army Pfc. Jason G. Wright

Died December 08, 2003 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Luzerne, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based in Fort Campbell, Ky.; killed while on security duty Dec. 8 when his vehicle came under fire from a passing vehicle in Mosul, Iraq. A good student who played on the baseball, basketball and football teams in high school, Jason G. Wright was already a “quality person” before joining the military, his high school principal says. He grew even more after signing up. “It was remarkable — the stature, the maturity, the confidence he had gained since enlisting,” said principal Jim Gendernalik. “This was a direction he chose to go, and he was proud of what he was doing.” Pfc. Wright, 19, of Luzerne, Mich., died Dec. 8 when his vehicle came under fire while he was providing security at a gas station in Mosul, Iraq. He had been stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. Neighbor Natalie Giardina described Wright as a well-mannered boy who was protective of his three younger brothers. She remembered how the boys would slide down a hill on her property during the winter and how she expressed concern for their safety on a particularly icy day. “He said, ‘Don’t worry Mrs. Giardina, I’ll protect my brothers,'” Giardina recalled. “Then he went on to protect us.” — Associated Press Street renamed for Michigan soldier killed in Iraq MIO, Mich. — A 19-year-old soldier who was killed in fighting in Iraq has had a street where he grew up renamed in his honor. The mother of Pfc. Jason G. Wright said the street naming was a welcome tribute to her son. “This community has been very, very supportive,” Leslie Wright told The Bay City Times. Wright said she wished all soldiers killed in Iraq could be remembered with a street named after them. Jason Wright died Dec. 8 when his vehicle came under fire while guarding a gasoline station in Mosul in northern Iraq. Fifteen members of Wright’s platoon, part of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, attended the Oct. 2 street renaming ceremony in Mio. Leslie Wright said Pfc. Jason Wright Street is a rural lane near the Au Sable River where the family lived until Jason was 16 or 17 years old. The Wrights still own the home, although they now live in Luzerne, she said. The street, located behind the U.S. Forest Service office in Mio, used to be named Legion Street. The town’s Knights of Columbus club initially asked for the road sign change, which was approved by the Oscoda County Road Commission. “He’s a local kid, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s a hero,” said Andrew Welser, a Knights of Columbus member who led a petition drive to rename the street in Wright’s honor. Leslie Wright said her family and her son’s Army unit shed tears but mostly felt a sense of pride as two members of his platoon unveiled the sign. She said she is unsure whether her son would have wanted all the attention. He was not the type to boast or brag, she said. Jason Wright graduated in 2002 from Mio Au Sable High School, where he played varsity baseball, football and basketball. He joined the Army in June 2002 in hopes of getting to jump out of airplanes. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky. Trained as a mortarman, he and his unit were sent to the Middle East in March 2003 as the United States and its allies prepared to invade Iraq. The Army posthumously awarded him the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
— Associated Press

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