Soldier Killed In Iraq Honored In Claremore

Thursday, October 26th 2006, 10:09 am
By: News On 6

A special memorial service was held Thursday for a fallen soldier from eastern Oklahoma.

Staff Sergeant Jason Hendrix was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in February of last year. Thursday, he was remembered on what would have been his 30th birthday.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day went to Claremore-Sequoyah where Hendrix graduated and where the service was held.

During a special service, those who knew and loved Staff Sergeant Jason Hendrix were urged not to mourn his death, but to celebrate his life. The program was held at Claremore-Sequoyah where Hendrix graduated. Students were there and so was Hendrix' father. “He'd be very proud of it. I'm very proud of it." Russ Hendrix says since Jason was a boy, he always wanted to serve his country.

A roadside bomb in Iraq killed Hendrix, moments after saving the lives of other injured soldiers. “He was just an all around wonderful young man." But family friend Danna Malone says Hendrix's service and sacrifice were overshadowed by controversy after his death.

A dispute arose over where to bury Hendrix, in Oklahoma, which his father wanted or in California where his mother lives. The courts finally decided the case and Hendrix was buried in Oklahoma. Danna Malone: "He was much more than just the last year and a half."

Russ Hendrix: "It feels good that that is over with. Now we can concentrate on Jason and helping other kids."

Hendrix was remembered as a true Oklahoma hero, a man whose passion was serving his country. Hendrix's impact will be felt beyond the battlefield, not just through his fellow soldiers he saved or served with, but also through a newly created scholarship fund. The Jason Hendrix Memorial Scholarship Fund will help kids at the Thunderbird Youth Academy.

Hendrix wanted to work there to help at-risk kids when he got out of Iraq. Danna Malone: "He was tenderhearted. Tenderhearted towards any young person that needed help. That needed anything." Russ Hendrix: "He's still helping kids go to school. That's something to be very proud of yeah."

As one speaker put it, all soldiers are heroes. Hendrix was a hero, among heroes.

You can help with the scholarship fund by donating at any RCB bank branch or by visiting a special webpage online.