It's never easy saying goodbye to friends, but especially when they are lost in the line of duty of serving this great country. SSgt Jamie Jarboe was shot by a sniper April 10, 2011 in the Zhari district of Afghanistan leaving him paralyzed from his chest down. On March 21, 2012 his body finally succumbed to the damages, the countless surgeries to repair the damages, and he passed away.
I have had many friends involved in the military throughout the years and have been fortunate that the war never hit too close to home. Jamie was an old friend from school. He was a bit mischievous, but one of the best guys you could ever meet. Anybody who knew him couldn't help but like him. He was that kind of guy. He moved away and we lost touch for several years until the wonderful world wide web brought us together again. We had the chance to reconnect on old times and share new memories together skyping, talking on the phone, and enjoying catching up. It wasn't until a friend shared the news on Facebook 11 months into his recovery that I even knew anything had happened to him. I knew he had deployed and there was that gut feeling in the very pit of my stomach that said something might have gone wrong, but then he had met his wife, gotten married, and we lost touch so that gut feeling was ignored. Everything happens for a reason I believe. There was a reason I hadn't learned of his journey until the very end though I'm not sure I'll ever know or understand that reason. There is nothing I could have done, but that supportive part of me says had I known I could have offered my support and love to the family in any way that I possibly could have.
I stumbled across this page today, pictures from Jamie's memorial. I can't think of anyone who could deserve the honor of the beautiful ceremony he had more than Jamie. He was one of a kind. A hero to his family, his friends, and all who knew him. He loved the Army and everything our military stands for past, present, and the hope for the future. I heard him say on more than one occasion that if you weren't Cav you weren't shit and he believed that with everything in him. He was so proud of that silly Cav hat (and I can say that because I said it to him more than once). He would walk around his room wearing it because he was that proud of it. If I know Jamie he's probably up in Heaven wearing that hat right now and walking around like he owns the place. And God lets him get away with it because how could he not with the kind of guy Jamie is?
Please take a moment of silence for Jamie, for his family, for his friends, and for our troops stationed here and across the sea. They risk life and limb for us, their fellow Americans. The least we can do is respect them and honor their willingness to put their lives, their families, and their future at risk for you, for me, and for everyone else in the world. RIP Jamie. You'll be missed every day from now until forever.