When Jason B. Jones, with his sweet, boyish smile and impish humor, graduated sixth in West Point Military Academy’s Class of 2007, his parents found out about his accomplishment only as they watched him receive his diploma.
A little more than two years later, they were stunned to learn their son had been awarded a Bronze Star, the medal that marks hero-ic or meritorious achievement, for his service in Iraq.
Jones had never mentioned it; he never pinned the medal, the fourth highest the military award, to his dress uniform.
“Humble” was a word oft repeated at a memorial service in Pottsville Saturday as Jones’ friends, family and colleagues described for hundreds of mourners the Green Beret who died in a small-arms fight Monday near Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Capt. Jones, a 2003 Blue Mountain honors graduate and the son of Jay Jones of Pottsville and Suzy Jones of Orwigsburg, was known for his intelligence, having majored in nuclear engineering at West Point; his quick wit and light-hearted humor; his natural gift for leadership; and his genuine kindness.
“Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss this incredible man,” said his widow, Amy Jones.
The couple would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary on June 15.
Capt. Jones’ father, mother, sister Dr. Lizzy Jones and others shared their memories, tears often cutting short bursts of laughter as they recalled Jones’ lack of dancing skills, his mischievous pranks, and his legendary voicemail messages.
They told of his determination, drive, and self-discipline; of his knack for bringing out the best in people; of his love for his wife, his fondness for their rescue beagle, Molly; his selfless acts of courage and valor.