Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.
Jimmy was, by far, the most amazing guy I have ever known. I have never met anyone who didn’t like Jimmy. His smile lit up a room and his laugh was extremely contagious. He had a personality that no one could imitate, a look that no one could duplicate, and such a profound impact to the lives of so many that will never be changed. It always seemed like he had everything going for him—a family that loved him dearly and spoiled him rotten and a MILLION friends. Being a child at heart, Jimmy made life fun—fun for himself and fun for those around him. Even it if it was at his own expense, he wanted people to be happy. Whether you needed to borrow his truck or borrow money, Jimmy was always right there willing to do anything you asked of him. He had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve known. So when Jimmy decided to join the Army, and couldn’t be talked out of it, I was terrified. I was scared that he wasn’t grown up enough, and wouldn’t fit in, or that he wouldn’t be able to handle it. And like he loved to do, he proved me wrong. A letter that my family received from a fellow soldier from Jimmy’s platoon stated that “He was a model soldier and a great friend. I found out real quick that he was good at cracking jokes and was not a shy guy at all.” He loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his dogs, and he loved the Army I spent my whole life trying to protect my little brother, and since the day he joined the Anny he was always trying to protect me. And now, Jimmy, my days of worrying for you are over, but I know you’re in a better place. I can’t look out for you anymore, but I know you will always look out for me. I will keep you in my heart and in my thoughts forever. I am so proud of the man you became and I have never been more proud to call you my brother, and now my hero. I love you, Bud.
When I remember Jimmy, one of his traits that will stick out the most is his strong will. Even when we were young, Jimmy would never concede to playing our games if he couldn’t do it his way, and with four older sisters, staying strong was no easy task. We could put makeup on him, but only if we made him into a clown—no girly stuff. He would play house with us, but there was no way he would ever be the Dad or the brother like we begged him to; he would only be the dog. And every time we played Barbie’s, we would try to convince him of the benefits to being Ken, but he would only play with us If he could be Barbie’s Jeep. Even when he was young, we couldn’t convince him to do things our way. So, when he told us that he wanted to join the Army, I wasn’t really surprised when no one succeeded in talking him out of it. He had already researched his choice and was ready for any question we threw at him. He remained strong in his decision, and for that I am proud of Jimmy. All five of us were raised to believe that we could accomplish anything we desired, and I am thankful that Jimmy was able to experience such satisfaction and success in his chosen path. He found something that he really loved doing in his short 21 years, and what a world this would be if we could all be so lucky. I know, Jimmy, that you have been called to serve a greater purpose than an of us can imagine, and I thought, at first, that I would be lonely without my little brother by my side. but I soon realized that you will never really leave me because you are in thoughts, my dreams, and my heart. The pain will pass someday and someday there will be no more tears, but I promise you, Jimmy, that I will count the days until we meet again. I promise you, Jimmy, that your cause will never be forgotten; I will cherish my freedom. And above all else, Jimmy, I promise to move on with my life and find happiness in a world without you because that is what you would want for me. I love you, Jimmy. You will always be my brother, my friend, and my hero.
Jimmy, we are going on eight years since we lost you in Iraq but it still feels like yesterday. You are truly our Hero. Many amazing people, many of whom we’ve never met, others whom have since become friends, have shown so much love and support and continue to honor you as an American Hero by keeping your memory alive through articles, memorials and dedications. We are truly blessed to have been able to share our lives with you even for just a short time. Your friends remember you as the fun-loving redhead, always making people laugh and helping others in need. Your fellow soldiers describe you as “Big Red”, a model soldier, caring, compassionate, enthusiastic, and a great friend. I remember our talk in 2005 when you informed me that you had just signed papers to join the Army. Your determination in volunteering to stand tall and proud to defend our great nation and keep us free from terrorism was incredible. I never felt more proud of you. When you were little, you had a heart of gold, always making people smile. As a man, your heart was bigger than your 6 foot 4 inch stature, and according to your fellow soldiers, you continued on that path while serving in the Army. How much more can a person give than the ultimate sacrifice for their country? Life has changed so much in the last eight years but the overwhelming heartache from losing you remains strong. Other parents report that this is a pain that never goes away but the memories will help to get me through each day. They are correct … there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you … sometimes with smiles, other times with tears. I am saddened that I will never see you get married, or become the exceptional Dad that I know you would have been, or grow old with someone you love … all the dreams a Mother has for her Son. But when I remember all the things you accomplished in your short 21 years on earth, the friends you made through school and hockey, the bravery and determination you portrayed as a soldier, and the lives you touched in so many ways, I feel proud all over again to have been blessed with the gift to share your life. You have earned respect from your fellow Americans and will always be remembered for your courage, devotion to duty, dedication to serve your fellow man, and your selfless sacrifice to better our world. You are a Hero to all of us. Rest in Peace, Jimmy, you have earned your place in Heaven alongside the Heroes who have gone before you. You will always be my precious baby and will live on in my heart forever. I miss you Jimmy and love you with all my heart, Mom