Monday, August 14, 2006

Remembering First Sgt. Aaron D. Jagger

Michigan Liberal reported tonight that Army First Sgt. Aaron D. Jagger of Hillsdale has died in Iraq, one of three soldiers killed by a roadside bomb last Wednesday near Ar Ramadi. Here's my comment on the post:
Aaron was a student of mine
The first job I had out of college in 1977 was teaching in a tiny school in Hillsdale County called Camden-Frontier school.

I taught high school English and French back then and Aaron was one of my students. I remember him -- isn't that funny? All those years ago and I was only there two years ...

I remember Aaron's family was new to the area. I remember he struggled with French. I remember him coming to my place with a bunch of the kids for a French dinner I put on for them at the end of the year. He brought his guitar, which had a pick up so it was amplified like an electric one. He played really well.

In 1978 I was advisor for the junior class and he was instrumental in helping build our homecoming float. I remember it was some kind of mechanical dinosaur thing and it took first place. Aaron was "artsy" compared to the mostly farm kids who grew up around there, and he didn't seem to make a lot of friends right away. He was a nice, friendly, hard-working kid. I liked him.

I've often wondered what happened to my students from back then. I moved to East Lansing, then Grand Rapids and lost track of all of them. It's hard to believe they're in their 40s now -- to me they'll always be high schoolers trying to grow up.

I haven't thought about Aaron in all this time. Seeing this post then reading the article in the Hillsdale Daily made me sad. A wife and five daughters he leaves behind. Aaron and his family deserved better. Our young people deserve better. The people of this country deserve better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know that you remember my brother, Aaron. We wanted so much for him to shake the dust off his boots and come home for good. Now our reunion will have to be in Heaven.


10:41 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

April I am so sorry for your loss. I know Aaron left behind a good and loving family who misses him. Thank you for writing.


4:42 PM  
Blogger Nicole Kirkendoll said...

I ran across his article while looking for some things to share with my kids about my father for veterans day. I have to thank the author of this post for allowing me insight into my dads earlier life. It brought tears to my eyes to be reminded that my dad is remembered by so many. He was creative and talented. I have the privilege of teaching kids, just as you did, that will be remembered just as my dad is. They will be remembered by the families that love them, the teachers that taught them, and they will be remembered for the sacrifices and accomplishments they make. I wish that I could share all of this and so much more with him. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

With gratitude

Nikki (Jagger) Kirkendoll

7:36 PM  
Blogger kathleen said...

Thank you so much for letting me know that my memories of your dad -- written so long ago -- have touched you. I remain sorry for your loss but full of pride and admiration for Aaron and all that he stood for. On Veterans Day, we must all remember and honor him and all those who sacrified. Blessings on you and your family. Kathleen

9:44 AM  

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