Jamie D. Wilson – Staff Sergeant, United States Army

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
January 25, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson, 34, of San Diego, California, died January 22, 2007, in Fallujah, Iraq, from wounds suffered while conducting security operations in Karmah, Iraq. Wilson was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

January 25, 2007:

Another Alaska-based paratrooper has lost his life in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson was killed Monday by enemy small arms fire near Fallujah. The 34-year-old soldier from California was on guard duty at his base at the time. Wilson was assigned to Fort Richardson's 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. His death is in the 22nd loss Alaska's paratroopers have suffered in the last two months. More than 3,000 Alaska paratroopers are currently serving in Iraq.

In a photo released by U.S. Army Alaska, Staff Sgt. Jamie D. Wilson, second from right, of San Diego, is shown in an undated photo, taken with fellow soldiers while serving in Iraq

Today, their commander, Colonel Michael X. Garrett, spoke with reporters about what paratroopers are going through. He says Iraq's rainy season has soldiers trudging through mud. They get little sleep, and those on the frontlines are out for three days at a time, sometimes more.

As with all soldiers, despite the losses, they must press on.

The Alaska-based paratroopers range in age from 20 to 34 and they hail from all over the nation. And the troops are being killed in action — sometimes one at a time, and at others times four at a time, as with an ambush Saturday in Karbala.

“They were attacked with grenades, small arms and indirect fire by an illegal-armed militia group,” said Garrett.

There is word today that Alaska's troops are making progress in the search for the enemy behind that attack.

“We have personnel in our custody. At this time, we know that it was conducted by some well-trained militia or organization,” said Garrett.

Alaska's paratroopers have a deep reach in Iraq, touching regions in nearly every direction beyond Baghdad, including Karbala, Fallujah and Al Hillah.

Garrett acknowledged it's a lot of ground to cover.

The soldiers are chasing down the enemy, searching for bombs and, along the way, helping rebuild roads and farms and create safe regions, so that expelled families may return home.

They find seven of every 10 roadside bombs the enemy plants and have detained more than 100 enemy suspects.

As for waning public and congressional support for the war, Garrett says the troops remain focused and undeterred.

“I think we are all interested, because of the time, effort, sweat, blood, and lives that we are investing in this. We are all interested in how this is going to come out. But we are absolutely committed to our mission and we will execute until that day that the Army says that we are done,” he said.

Garrett says the troop surge the president is calling for will not affect his units much, except perhaps for shuffling units around a little.

For example, the paratroopers in Fallujah are there because the Iraqi army brigade that had been in control moved into Baghdad. To fill the gap, the 509th moved in. They neutralize insurgents, create security and are expected to stay there for at least 90 days.

Garrett said that while deaths always affect everyone, they also strengthen soldiers' resolve.


Sergeant Made a Life in the Army
‘Personal Strength and Values' Overcame Childhood Hardships, Wife Says

By Leef Smith
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Saturday, February 3, 2007

Under a sky threatening snow, a brown van pulled up to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday to deliver the flag-draped coffin of Army Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson.

The career soldier — who had lived in orphanages and foster homes from the age of 10 — knew as a young boy that he wanted to be in the Army and wasted no time trying to enlist when he turned 17. He needed parental consent, something he didn't have, so he got in line at his local courthouse and waited to talk to a judge.

“Everyone else there that day was in trouble, but he was just trying to join the Army,” said Wilson's wife, Christine Wilson. “It was the judge who signed the papers.”

Wilson, 34, of Temple, Texas, was killed by small-arms fire January 22, 2007, while on guard duty at his post near Fallujah, Iraq. His wife said he had just cleared a car through a checkpoint and was getting back into his Humvee when he was struck by a sniper's bullet.

“He was an excellent rifleman,” Christine Wilson said of her husband. If the sniper “wasn't such a coward, shooting at him from somewhere concealed, he would still be with us.”

Wilson, who arrived in Iraq in October, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was the 22nd paratrooper killed in Iraq since the 3,500-member brigade was deployed there last fall.

Wilson had served 16 years in the Army. He hoped eventually to be stationed back at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he had spent most of his career, for his last four years of service. His goal, his wife said, was to become a deputy sheriff.

In a program distributed at a memorial service Thursday in Clayton, North Carolina, Christine Wilson described her relationship with her husband and how faith brought them together. They were married just two years before he was killed, but during that time, she said, her husband found something he had never had, someone to love him “unquestioningly.”

She said it was a big transition for the quiet man whose mother gave him up to an “abusive, alcoholic” father when he was born. When he was 10, his father died. No one in the family would claim him, and her husband was placed in orphanages and foster homes, she said.

“It is a tribute to his own personal strength and values that he turned out to be the man he was,” Christine Wilson wrote in the program. “He was a good match for me, but beyond that, I was able to offer him what he had never had before. . . . He finally, for the first time in his life, had a family that loved him.”

Yesterday, a small group of mourners, braced against the cold, watched silently as a casket team carefully moved Wilson's silver coffin to its resting place amid a cascade of floral wreaths.

The group, which included Wilson's wife and his 7-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Cassidy, bowed their heads briefly for a prayer, their dark coats in stark contrast to the flowers.

“Before he left for Iraq, he said it was his responsibility to protect his troops and make sure they made it home to their families,” Christine Wilson said. “I believe he will work extra hard now to stick to his promise and watch over them.”

Wilson is the 301st service member killed in the Iraq war to be buried at Arlington.

Military honors are carried out during funeral services for Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson, of San Diego, Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery
Lieutenant Colonel William Barefield, an Army chaplain, conducts the graveside service for Army Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson at Arlington National Cemetery.
A military bugler pauses after playing taps for Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson, of San Diego, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery
Members of a military honor guard pause after folding the American Flag of Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson, of San Diego, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, Feb. 2, 2007
Army Brigadier General Gregory Shumacher, left, presents a flag to Christine Wilson, widow of Staff Sergeant Jamie D. Wilson during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, February 2, 2007

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  • DATE OF BIRTH: 04/29/1972
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/22/2007

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