Special to the LPR
Jason LaFleur was born in Houston in January 1979. As his mom says, “He was born a 40-year-old conservative.”
He was not flashy. From early on, he was a little man. The family moved to Lockhart in 1985. Jason completed first grade and went on through the Lockhart Public Schools. He played and loved all sports, soccer being his favorite.
Graduating in 1997, he went to Ole Miss on a partial academic scholarship for two years before coming home to Texas and attending Texas State. Although he didn’t go to UT, the Longhorns were always one of his favorite teams.
He had a love of music and grew his collection of all kinds of music, Bluegrass, RAP, Rock and Roll, Pop, and even bag pipes. He knew all kinds of trivia surrounding music, musicians and sports.
Jason eventually moved to Colorado. He loved the landscape and loved to ski. He even found time to coach a U10 soccer team. While living there he began formulating a plan to enlist. He spent a year, losing weight and exercising to get to Army standards.
When he talked to his mom about his plans, the talk turned to War and his very probable fight in his future. Without hesitation, he replied, “I know Mom, but I am willing.” And he meant it, every word. Jason was so smart and aced his ASVAB. He could have had his choice of MOS, but he chose to be an Airborne Paratrooper.
He enlisted May of 2005 and went to Fort Knox for Basic and AIT. Then he went on to Fort Benning to attend jump school. He was stationed at JBER, (Ft Richardson) in Anchorage, Alaska in the fall of 2005. There he joined the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, which is part of the 425th Infantry Brigade. In the fall of 2006, he left for his first and only deployment to Iraq.
Jason was assigned to QRF (Quick Response Force) on Aug. 4, 2007. He was responding to an emergency call of his brothers in a different troop. Jason and two others, Cpl. Jaron Holliday and Sgt. Dustin Wakeman, took up a security point after aiding in the rescue of injured soldiers. There a deeply buried, remote controlled IED was detonated, killing all three instantly. Jason meant what he said when he said he was ‘willing.’ He ran to the danger and never hesitated.
How do you put an entire life in just a few words? How do you describe or detail the hyphen between two dates, the day he was born and the day he died? The best thing to remember is that the hyphen represents a life well lived, by a man who lived his ideals, who lived his morals and his ethics. He was true to his word, when he said, he was ‘willing.’
Jason is loved and missed every single day. So, this Memorial Day, take a minute to say his name. Pause to be thankful for Jason and men and women like him. Because of them, we live free. Freedom is not free.