Based: Camp Hovey, South Korea
1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: February 16, 2005
Burial: Calvary Cemetery, Tulsa, Okla
Sergeant Hendrix was killed when an explosion occurred while he was conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq.
Remembering Jason Hendrix the bodybuilder, the man who loved to hunt, who cared about his family and loved his country, dominated the comments and the images shared at the slain soldier’s funeral service Saturday.Read the entire story about Army Staff Sergeant Jason R. Hendrix in Military Times, find more in the LA Times, at Fallen Heroes and visit Sergeant Hendrix's Guest Book.
“He was a wonderful, wonderful boy,” said his aunt, Onetta Webster, as she walked from his grave site. “He loved it around here.”
For a few hours at least, Hendrix’s life mattered more than the circumstances after his death. A final resting place for Hendrix, a California native who was killed while serving in Iraq on Feb. 16, caused a family feud to turn into a court battle. The legal spat between divorced parents was resolved last month.
At Rice Funeral Service in Claremore and at the graveside at Calvary Cemetery in Tulsa, family members talked about the man who grew from a towheaded boy to a muscle-bound staff sergeant in the Army.
“He was a young man to be admired,” said Rosetta Jensen, Hendrix’s great-aunt. “He didn’t die for one person, he died for all of us.”
Hendrix, 28, lived most of his life in California. He spent the last two years of high school living with his father in Claremore. After graduating from Claremore Sequoyah, he joined the Army, serving two tours in South Korea during his 11-year career.
“He loved to go hunting with his father,” Webster said. “They would always get a deer.”
In Claremore, friends and relatives filled the chapel to hear Lt. Col. Greg Borden talk about the difference Jason Hendrix made. Borden, a chaplain stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., spoke of memories and the value of Hendrix’s sacrifice.
“His life made a difference, even to people who never knew him,” Hendrix said. “Because of what he did, Iraqis will experience some freedom that they never would have known.”
After a reading of Hendrix’s awards, which included a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, 16 soldiers in attendance paid final respects. One by one, soldiers, most clad in dress uniform, stood up, marched before the casket and saluted.
The nearly 40-vehicle procession that followed Hendrix’s remains on the 31-mile drive to the cemetery stopped traffic along the route.
Hendrix received burial with full military honors, including the playing of “Taps” and a 21-gun salute. A group of about a dozen Vietnam veterans looked on as the serviceman was laid to rest.