Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Captain Drew Jensen ~ Farewell and Walk with God

A son of Oregon, Captain Drew N. Jensen, 27, of Clackamas, Oregon, died September 7 in Seattle of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire during combat operations May 7 in Ba'qubah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Washington.

Capt. Jensen was paralyzed from the neck down and required a ventilator to breathe after he was shot in the neck during his second tour of duty. Jensen was a mortar platoon leader. As he tried to help one of his soldiers, pinned behind a vehicle after an explosion, he was shot by a sniper, leaving him a quadraplegic and dependent upon a breathing tube.

The family issued this statement about his death:

"In accordance with ... an advance directive prior to his first deployment, Drew elected to be removed from artificial life support. In understanding the delicate and personal nature of the situation, Drew consulted only with immediate family and medical personnel prior to the execution of his wishes.

"His wife, parents, brothers, extended families and friends will miss him beyond anything words can convey. We will honor the memory of Drew by remembering his life, accomplishments and the memories we shared."

Capt. Jensen was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, Oregon, where he was on the wrestling team. He was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he received his BA in history in 2002. He was trained as an infantry officer and had completed Ranger School.

Before his death, Drew still was looking out for his soldiers. He arranged for a $10,000. fund to be established in his name to help offset the housing costs of famlies who have to travel to be with their wounded loved ones.

Jensen is survived by his wife, Stacia Jensen; two older brothers, Adam and Shane Jensen; and his parents, Lance and Mardie Jensen.

“He’s one of the three most wonderful children ever born,” said his mother, Mardie Jensen. “We’d like to have him remembered for his accomplishments rather than his death.”

The family website for Drew is http://www.captaindrewjensen.com/

The following is a tribute from a friend of Drew's:

Ussually I try to write about the lighter side of my world and to document the legacy and greatness of our guys which to me is a pleasure and honor. I also try to ensure that everyone at home has happy thoughts to lighten their worries. I do try to be strong and brave but there are times that it is tough. Right now is one of those times. I have not written for a few days because I have been in a personal low. This is the greatest suck of all for me in this world.

Last week the world lost one of it's great young warriors and leaders. I am proud to say that I worked by this mans side on my last deployment here and he was instrumental in the development of the Iraqi National Guard with me. CPT Drew Jensen, also known as MISFIT 6 was the officer that was assigned to assist me in the initial start up of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps now known as the Iraqi National Guard. He was from C-Co 5-20th Infantry also from the 3/2 SBCT. He was OPCON to the Tomahawks and that is where they felt best to place him and his men. I immediately liked him, a smaller man in size about the same as me and with a very like mind. He was a West Point Graduate and class mate of my Platoon Leader Jake Kemnec and another friend of mine CPT Nick Kardonsky.

Within a few short days of working together he made an immediate impact on me when our camp was attacked with a ferocious barage of indirect that caused several casualties. Drew along with his RTO Ragu and several others of his, joined Wally and I in helping provide aid to casualties. We lost one but another lived as a direct result of his leadership and poise and witnessing that made me proud to be associated with him. Later I was awarded for my actions in that event and found out that the guy who put me in was Drew. A very selfless act to award me and the guys when he was instrumental in the event and went thankless from the public. I Never was able to express my gratitude to him for everything that he taught me those short months, I tried too, over a beer back in the rear but masculinity kept me from truly expressing my emotions. Instead he simply got a "Good Times Dude!" and that they were.

CPT Drew Jensen passed gracefully with his new wife present back in the rear after being rendered paralized from a enemy bullet. He received this injury providing aid to another soldier again demonstrating his natural herioc being. I have struggled with this one greatly, not that any of them have been easy, it's just we need real men like Drew. I know God has a plan and thats what we tell ourselves when we don't understand why we have lost someone so needed and precious. I hope that I will be half the man the Drew was and inspire my men as he did.

"Misfit 6, ING 7"
"Misfit 6, ING 7"
"Negative contact with MISFIT 6, ING 7 out."

From http://www.tobynunn.com/


Lew Waters said...

“We’d like to have him remembered for his accomplishments rather than his death.”

What a brave and honorable statement for a grieving Mom to make.

His accomplishments, as well as those of so many more, are what makes America the great nation she is.

May he rest in peace and may his loved ones find solace in their memeoris of all he did accomplish.

Sarge Charlie said...

so young, so brave, thank god that such a fine man was an American.

Claire said...

What a beautiful young man, wife, and family. He died living the values he lived -- protecting and defending this great Country, and working to save a soldier in distress. All military deaths touch me deeply, but Ft. Lewis soldiers hold a very personal and deep place in my heart.

God bless this fallen hero's family, and may his mother's Gold Star never be bore alone, but surrounded by loved ones to support her. I pray the same for his wife.

Ron Simpson said...

That is a tough call to make. I have a DNR on file, but I don't know if I could face that decision. Having grown up with a father confined to a bed, I can appreciate what life would be like. But I don't know if I could leave my kids behind.
My heart goes out to his family.

Megan said...

Drew was the most amazing person I ever had the privilege to know. The things he accomplished his short time here far surpass what many of us will achieve in our entire life time. Only a fraction of his achievements have been released to the public, and respecting my families wishes, I too will keep quiet (though I do not entirely agree with such concealment). Let me say, however, that if you were to think of the most impressive person you have ever met, the smartest, kindest, most genuinely all-around good person, double that, and you're still not even close to Drew's level of being.

Drew was my cousin. Growing up, I always looked up to him, and he always looked out for me. He has always been my Hero, and always will be.

Drew, I will always love you. You will never be forgotten.

American Interests said...

A brave man from a brave family. A fine and moving tribute...God bless all

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you for sharing your memories of Drew. The type of person you describe is who I pictured Drew to be. He is a HERO to all of us.

We will keep you and the rest of Drew's family in our prayers at this difficult time.

alisa said...

drew and i met in ny, at west point. My uncle graduated from there and he was showing me around. We hit it off like that and we became goood friends. We had our ups and downs and i got to visit him after his first tour in iraq . He was the best guy i ever knew..

God bless you drew, and i will pray every night for my grandma and granpa to watch over you :( i love you as a person