Memories and Tributes
I had the distinct honor of bringing Jay home from Afghanistan....we were together in Jalalabad. The last time I saw Jay.... we climbed on top of a roof and watched a thunderstorm....sat for about two hours. We finished cigars and I reached for a cigarette hoping to extend the moment, hoping he would sit a bit longer. My efforts to stall did not work. He headed back to his team, rendering my efforts fruitless. But that is the point, isn’t it? Do not leave here selfish. Do not wish for more.
Jason was the type of man who made everyone a better person simply by being around him. Jason was an incredibly intelligent, moral man with an incredible character and sense of humor. He challenged me daily and made me a stronger person. He is the type of person I aspire to be both personally and professionally. And I like to think that I showed him the value of... trusting your heart.
-Amy Hope Jones, Gold Star Wife
This quote not only sums up the way the men of 3rd Special Forces Group live their lives, but embodies Jay’s Character and how he lived his life:
“There is but an edge, a threshold that separates this life from the next, ever present yet hidden ...this edge cannot be found, nor can it be understood, it finds us and our awakening is sudden. This above all else is what the warrior teaches us. The warriors who walk among us leave no stone unturned, no experience unlived. Their joys are simple, their pleasures are family and friend. Its courage they esteem and wisdom they desire. These virtues they have acquired not by reading or talking about them, but by living them, living them everyday."
-Pete Van Hooser
Jay led men twice in combat, first in Iraq and...in Afghanistan. Jay enjoyed the high tempo environment....therefore no challenge seemed too tough. With all the academic and physical (success) also came a canny sense of humor.
Jay Jones – You are a warrior, you have always chosen the road less traveled. You will be greatly missed...and we will be forever saddened by your loss. But understand this-that everyone you impacted, everyone you made smile, has become an extraordinary person because of you.
Through the years we stayed so close ...we were pushing each other in our careers and in life....I loved that about our relationship. Unselfish and so much fun. Always laughing like a couple of hyenas. Jason.......he is and always has been a brother to me. Jason will continue to push me for the rest of my life and I'm so privileged because I know him. He'd want us to live the rest of our lives with compassion, laser focus, intensity and by putting 110% into everything we do...just like he did.
What these guys were doing as a team over in Afghanistan is unbelievable. They look in the face of danger with courage, heroism and patriotism. Jason and all those of you out there who have served, I now know are heroes to a degree I will never forget
-Jay Jones, Gold Star Father
We think of our soldiers as fighters, but they are also humanitarians. For the past 12 years I’ve had the privilege of knowing the American military and all of its soldiers. Here are some of their qualities. They take great pride in their uniforms. They will call you ma’am and sir until you beg them to stop. They would rather be invited to a home cooked meal than be taken out to dinner. They spend Christmas in block compounds in foreign countries and open their presents out of brown boxes. They call it a party with a chair and a can of beer. They are exceptional team players and consider it a privilege to be last. They love their family, their country, and their hometowns. They go to places where no one else will go. They sacrifice their lives so that people can be free. They among all of our veterans are America’s heroes.
-Suzy Jones, Gold Star Mother, Memoria Day Speech, 2016
Jason-When a good song comes on the radio, when I speed on that strip of the highway where you showed me no cops can sit, when the party could use some livening up, when I laugh easily at some slapstick humor on a mindless movie, I think of you. When Lucas Jason, your nephew, gives me a mischievous smile, I know he has some of his uncle's spark in him. I am hopeful he has your humor. Your courage inspires me to take on challenges and reminds me to enjoy the simple days. We are constantly reminded by so many people sharing your stories that you are forever loved and never forgotten. You made quite the impact, and we are forever proud.
Thank you for being the best brother I could ever ask for.
-Liz Gambogi, Gold Star Sister
read by Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan during a memorial tribute in 2019