Home / The Honored / Army CPL Jason D. Fisher

Army CPL Jason D. Fisher

 

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A Corporal with Maine ties was killed in an army training accident Nov. 14 in Louisiana.  Army CPL Jason D. Fisher was one of two soldiers who was run over by a 63-ton tank during training exercises at Fort Polk, LA.
The two were members of the 101st Airborne Division who had served in Afghanistan. They were training with about 400 fellow soldiers from Fort Campbell, KY, at the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. Fisher and one other solider, were assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s A Company, 2nd Battalion, 187th Regiment.
The 101st Airborne is a rapid deployment, air assault division trained to go anywhere in the world within 36 hours. After fighting in Afghanistan, about 4,000 soldiers from the 187th Regiment had returned to the U.S. in August.  Fisher is survived by his wife, Tara, and step-son, Christopher, both of Clarksville, TN.  Through his father and extended family, Jason has ties to Maine.

During the Run for The Fallen Maine, I met with Jason’s father, a 28 year career Navy man named Paul Fisher.   Paul and I spent some time together under the shade of a big white tent before the events of the RFTF kicked off for the day.  Paul shared with me that his son was the oldest of three boys and he was killed in a training accident after surviving many dangerous situations in a combat theater to include an RPG round in Afghanistan.  Jason worked alongside Special Forces and was proud of his service to his family and his country.

 

Jason was the oldest of three boys, all of them joining the military, following the great legacy of service and patriotism of their father.  Paul was the enlisting SNCO who welcomed them in the service and joined two of his sons in the Army and his youngest son in the Navy.  In fact, Jason and the next oldest son, Joshua, both attended infantry boot camp together and have many of the same stories from their early training days.

 

I asked Paul this question during our time together this past Sunday in Brunswick, Maine.  I said Paul — When someone takes this stone and hikes it all over Maine and all over the world, and they honor and remember your son — what do they need to think about?

 

Here is Paul’s answer —  “Jason was the nicest, kindest and most gentle, loving and loyal man you would every find.”  He waited to enlist so he could join with his brother.   He adopted his wife’s son.  He was called Angel by his family.  He was calm, collected, composed and so generous.  He collected and distributed packets of hot cocoa and chocolate to his troops just to increase their morale.

IF you want to honor Jason you will find a place that service Heineken and serves hot wings.   Find some live guitar music or play your own.  Jason loved playing his guitar and making music.

 

Paul told me that many people often mistook his sone for a “doped up, drugged up, counter culture son of a gun” but he was the most respectful, kind and loving man you would ever meet.

 

In fact, Jason liked to wear Goth punk attire and his ever tolerant, but former military dad responded with a pretty fair offer – “Wear whatever you want, as long as you get good grades.”

 

Turns out, among all his other qualities of kindness and loyalty, CPL Jason D. Fisher was an ace of a student.

 

Maine Heroes are NOT Forgotten.

 

djc

 
 

12 Comments

  1. Leslie Burnette says:

    On October 17th, I had the honor of carrying Corporal Jason D. Fisher’s stone up Cadillac Mountain. The day began early, and we gathered beforehand with all of our fellow hikers, families and volunteers. I didn’t know anyone on my hiking team, and this was my first TSP event, so I had no idea what to expect. It became abundantly clear immediately how much this event means to everyone involved. Volunteers worked tirelessly setting up the base camp in advance of the hikers’ arrivals. Some hikers had participated before and shared stories of previous events, and many others were new to TSP like myself. It was easy to make connections with these strangers, however, since everyone had a common reason for being there – we were there to honor each of these fallen soldiers. We were there to learn about not only the soldier whose stone we were carrying, but the soldiers carried by team members. We learned about their families and who the soldiers were as civilians. We learned about each other, and we learned so much about ourselves.

    It was an absolute honor to carry Jason’s stone and share his story. The honor didn’t stop after the closing ceremonies on October 17th though. This event was the most moving, emotionally raw experience I have ever had, and I will carry Jason’s memory and story with me forever. I will continue to share his story and honor him and his service to our country. The night before the TSP hike, I toasted Jason with a Heineken and told his story to anyone who’d listen. I will continue to toast in Jason’s honor whenever Heineken is served, and say a prayer of peace for his family. Thank you for allowing me the honor of carrying Jason’s stone. May Jason, his spirit and his story live on and be told by many. Maine Heroes Are Not Forgotten.

     
  2. Joelle Ingalls says:

    After participating in the Run for the Fallen this year with the Summit Project stone for Marine MAJ Samuel C. Leigh I knew I wanted to bring my experience to others and let them be as moved and changed as I was. I requested the chance to bring The Summit Project to our Veterans Day Remembrance 4 Mile Road Race this past weekend.

    I was originally assigned 10 names of soldiers we would be honoring, and I assigned those to the 9 runners who readily stepped up to carry and myself. When I arrived at MEPS in Portland to collect our stones I was informed that four of them had been replaced with new stones. Knowing that it made no difference whose stones we carried, I gladly accepted all ten into my custody and went to work reading about our four new heroes.

    After reassigning the runners with the three new names, I began to really read about Army CPL Jason D. Fisher. I learned that his father was at the event that really drew me in. We were there together under that big white tent! I wish I’d had the chance to shake his hand and say thank you. Carrying Jason’s stone became my way to say thank you to Paul and his surviving two sons for their service. What an amazing family. Three sons following their father into service. And, Jason, as the oldest leading the way – waiting for his younger brother and then serving side by side. It reassured me that this stone was meant to be mine.

    I read about how Jason was gentle and kind. He was invested in his unit and the overall morale of his brothers and sisters in the service. Collecting and distributing hot cocoa and chocolate to boost their spirits. It takes a special person to see beyond their own circumstance and make efforts to improve the circumstances of others.

    Before the event I had the opportunity to do an interview with a local news station that would air later that night. As I spoke about carrying Jason’s stone I realized that Jason’s mother watched all three of her sons enlist, and I realized how terrifying that must have been for her. I thought about my own son and how proud I would be if he chose a life of service to our country, but, also, how I might never sleep again if he was deployed. I didn’t cry in the interview, but I did later in the day when I tucked him into bed – safe and warm.

    The event was cold. A strong, cold wind blew off the river for four long miles. I had the pleasure of running with another man carrying the Summit Project stone for Army PVT Dustin R. F. Small – we talked about our soldiers and the conditions they endured in their deployments. We reminded each other that the winds blowing into Dustin and Jason’s faces held sand that cut their skin and stung their eyes. We completed the distance and gave thanks for the opportunity to lay down the weight of the stones we were carrying – recognizing that the burden on a fallen soldier’s family can never be laid down.

    For the afternoon event I offered Jason’s stone to a veteran who joined us, as she had not been able to carry a stone in the race. As I handed his stone to her she clutched it to her chest, and I knew she appreciated his service and sacrifice as much as I did. Jason will never be forgotten. When I run along the race route (as I often do in training), or climb the mountain (as I do at least once per week in warmer months) and when I eat hot wings, or drink hot cocoa – I will remember.

    Thank you Paul, for offering the opportunity for me and others to carry a stone in remembrance of Jason, and thank you for raising such a loving, kind and selfless man. Thank you to Army CPL Jason D. Fisher for your service and sacrifice for my freedom. #mhanf <3

     
  3. Carolyn Corro 112th Medevac Unit (retired) says:

    I had first learned about the Summit Project a few weeks prior to our 4 mile Veterans remembrance run and I thought what a great honor it would be to carry a fallen soldiers stone. Unfortunately, all the stones had been assigned to other people in our town, fellow veterans, police officers and other pillars of our community. Knowing that they would be in the most protective hands I felt very proud running beside those people, my friends.
    After the race, the volunteers that had the privilege of carrying the stones through the race wanted to continue paying tribute to the soldiers that gave up so much for us by hiking up Blue Hill mountin. I felt compelled to join them, even though I would only be tagging along I really had a deep feeling that I needed to be there.
    After arriving at the meeting point the coordinator asked if there was anybody there that would like to carry a stone that did not have the opportunity to do so earlier in the day. I quickly stepped up and volunteered with great pride and honor.
    During the hike up the slippery leaf covered trial I held Jason’s stone as tight as I could, in fear that I was going to drop it. Not knowing anything about the person whose name was etched on the stone, I allowed my mind to wander back to my Army days and to the days that each one of my brothers were deployed overseas. 5 times my mother had to say goodbye to one of her children, not knowing if they would come home. And I also thought of his parents knowing they had that same feeling and worried every time they saw conflict on the news.
    When the trail got steep and I wanted to stop to take a break, the weight of the stone in my arms kept me going. Knowing that that weight was nothing compared to the sacrifice of this US soldier.
    When we finally made it to the top of the mountain we all took a moment to remember our fallen soldiers. The Sun was starting to get lower in the sky and it was shining on the water below us. Many of us were quiet and solemn and others shed tears.
    It wasn’t until after I had gotten home later that evening did I learn about the person who stone I was carrying. I cried a littler more with each story I read but also became more proud to have been able to be part of the Summit project. God Bless.

     
  4. It was December 4th when my group and I had the honor to carry Jason D. Fisher up Bradbury mountain. The experience was incredible for me seeing as though I had a great grandfather that was a private in the US Army. The whole time I was climbing that mountain, all I could think of was how It must have felt to loose someone close, I was thinking about the sacrifice that was made by all those who served. I enjoyed the experience and I felt as if I have honored my great grandfather and Jason both by climbing that mountain. I feel grateful and honored to be able to bring Jason’s rock up and share his story with the world. These soldiers will never be forgotten and it’s because of the summit project that we are able to make that possible. I am thankful to have carried Jason’s Rock and I thank him for serving our countries.

     
  5. Elias Comingore says:

    My experience during the trek to the summit of Mt. Bradbury with the stone of CPL. Jason D. Fisher could be described by many words; Among those are “powerful”, “emotional”, and “weighty”, in more than one sense of the word. I carried the stone for about half a mile until we reached the summit, and during that time, my mind never drifted away from it. I was concentrated wholly on the task at hand, what it meant, and how it was representative of Jason’s impact on those around him.

    My arms and legs were tired, my breathing was heavy, and I was getting the sense that others had the same feeling. My arms couldn’t hold the stone for much longer, so I had to move it to my backpack, which I had a friend help me with. It struck me that this man’s legacy was his kindness to those around him, and how much he loved to help those in need. Throughout the rest of the trip, my friends relied on one another, talking, laughing. It was really hard to be tired when everyone supported each other so much, which, I feel, is what Jason would have done.

    I am very glad to have participated, and I would like to thank Jason for his service, and his family for being part of the summit project and honoring him this way.

     
  6. I will have the honor of carrying Jason’s stone on our (Patriot Rider’s) spring charity ride.

     
  7. Garret Cookson says:

    On May 19, 2016 our JROTC battalion had the honor of carrying the stones up Big Moose Mountain in Greenville. I was lucky to have carried CPL Jason Fisher’s stone and have the opportunity to learn about who he was and about the service he gave. As I read about him, I learned about how loyal and kind he was to his family and his fellow soldiers. When we started the hike up the mountain there was a slight overcast. The hike up to the mid point was pretty leisurely, but soon after the halfway mark the trail became more steep and difficult. As I climbed the narrow stone steps and felt the weight of the stone on my back began to grow heavier, I realized the connection that I had with this person that I never had the chance to meet. Once our group had reached the summit of the mountain we all rested, looking over at the great view. We then started the ceremony, all of us stood and spoke a few words about our service members, who they were and the meanings behind the stones. After the ceremony the clouds came together and it began to rain and hail. The trip down the trail was very slippery, but we made it down with only a few slips and falls. All and all, I believe that everyone had a memorable day honoring and remembering these service members.

     
  8. Raymond Ruby says:

    At the TSP at BSP 2016, I had the honor to carry the stone and the story of CPL. Jason D. Fisher. I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I did my research before the weekend to better learn about Jason. I was reading words like “gentle, loving, loyal, calm, collected, composed and generous.” You also don’t get the nickname “Angel” by chance. Jason is a man that all good men strive to be. His core qualities are ones that I hope to have some day.

    When one of the wonderful volunteers approached me saying that Jason’s family would like to meet me. I immediately felt like I was walking into a job interview. I just hoped that I was worthy enough to carry his stone. During dinner that night, I honestly felt like time was frozen and it was just the 3 of us even there though others were around. It was so wonderful to hear stories and see pictures of Jason. It was also great to learn about the entire Fisher family. I think as I get older I’m getting better a recognizing special moments while they are happening. Spending this time with you both was one of those moments for me.

    During the hike I could feel the weight of my pack and I knew Jason was with me the whole way. When we gathered near the top to share what we learned about our assigned Fallen Heroes, I didn’t feel like I was speaking about a stranger. We now had a connection and a strong bond. I shared with the group much of what I learned and some of the things we spoke of at dinner. As you now know, I don’t like Heineken beer but as promised, a few times a year I will order one and slowly drink it, as a toast to Jason.

    Your son will often be on my mind and his story will always be in my heart. I hope that our new friendship continues and I also hope to meet the rest of the Fisher family in the future. Take care and thank you.

    Ray Ruby

     
  9. P.J. Laney says:

    My name is P.J. Laney, I live in Newport, ME. On 10/1/16 at Acadia National Park I had the honor and privilege of carrying the memorial stone for CPL Jason D Fisher to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Thank you Paul Fisher for sharing Jason with me; I appreciate learning more about Jason from you.

    I think I was more nervous about hiking this hike than I was setting out to hike Mt Katahdin this summer. I had researched the trail for Team Bubble; hiking Pemetic North Ridge Trail then up Cadillac West Face Trail. The combination of carrying Jason’s stone, what it represents, the weight of it, the steep exposed granite ledges and the possibility of rain caused me to worry.

    In doing research online combined with communications with Jason’s father, Paul, I found reassurance in learning about Jason and encouragement from my husband, I had the courage and mental strength to complete this hike. I learned that Jason was a Rakkasan, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s A Company 2nd Battalion, 187th Regiment. He had served in Operation Enduring Freedom and was an infantry team leader during Operation Anaconda. The Rakkasan’s motto is Let Valor Not Fail. This prompted me to seek out the definition of Valor – Great courage in the face of danger. I kept this mantra in my head leading up to the hike. Reminding myself that what I was about to face could not compare to the dangers Jason faced during his deployments and ultimately the training accident that took his life.

    Jason was described by fellow soldiers as an outstanding team leader, inspiring others with his positive attitude. His ability to see the “glass half full” made him an exceptional soldier. The battalion commander said Jason kept everybody’s morale up; no matter how tough, how bitter cold, how rainy, how hot, he always had a cheery disposition. His father said he would hand out packages of hot cocoa and chocolate to help increase the morale of his troops. I carried a bag of miniature chocolate bars to share with my teammates during our hike in honor of Jason. Paul also shared that his son was the nicest, kindest, most gentle, loving and loyal man you could meet. I thought it was cool that Jason enjoyed playing guitar and liked to wear Goth Punk. I image he would have been an interesting person to get to know.

    Two weeks before the hike my in-laws were visiting from Alabama. During lunch at the Old Mill Pub in Skowhegan I shared Jason’s story with them. While we were waiting for our food to arrive my mother-in-law noticed the drink menu holder on the table had Heineken across the bottom. And when we went to an antique store down the street she immediately pointed out the 20 to 30 guitars on display for sale. It touched me that after sharing Jason’s story with her she could find these connections around us. I had been trying to come up with a way to pay a small tribute to Jason for my hike. I was excited when I got the idea to paint my nails in a gothic tribute. It made me smile thinking about how he might appreciate the subtle touch of romantic mystique.

    During the morning hours just before the hike I picked up Jason’s stone to place it in my backpack. In my hands this stone felt solid and heavy. I tied an aqua bandana around the stone before I placed it in my pack. Once I put my pack on my back I did not notice the heaviness of the stone, even though I could feel its presence against my back.

    We were very fortunate to have a beautiful day for this hike. As soon as we crossed the threshold of the trail head, entering the woods, all concerns and worry of the hike disappeared from my mind. I was excited about the challenges the trail had to offer and I kept smiling thinking about who I was carrying with me. I was inspired to stay upbeat and positive even through some of the strenuous climbing on the trail. I enjoyed chatting with each person on our team, working my way up and back and back up again through the ranks. I think Jason would have enjoyed the comradery and teamwork shared on this hike. There was one section of the hike when we were descending Pemetic toward Bubble Pond; the trees were very tall, the forest floor was a lush green and the trail was comfortable. I was at the head of the team, with everyone behind me; as I was chatting with Angie Gay I noticed how melodious the combined conversations were among all of the team members. It was so good to feel all of the positive energy we were sharing. Ahh, we had our tough moments on our hike but we persevered as a team and are better for it!

    I had brought notes of what I had learned and wanted to share about Jason. I wanted to ensure I shared with everyone the essence of Jason and I wanted to do right by him. I shared quite a bit about Jason but even with notes it’s hard to not get distracted by your feelings and thoughts. Jason did invoke his positive spirit during our hike and I found courage to face what I was scared of about this hike. I was sure to share my gratitude several times that it had not rained!

    I carried Jason’s stone for a day but I will always carry his spirit in my heart. I will continue to look to you Jason to inspire me to seek positive energy in my toughest situations. I hope for Jason’s family that my reflection can give you comfort knowing you son, brother, husband and step-father continues to be an inspiring leader. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know him. He is not forgotten.

     
  10. Blake Bourassa says:

    Dear family of Jason,

    I just finished hiking Table Rock Mountain with campers who all have a parent or sibling currently serving in the military. This is what two children had to say about carrying Jason

    “I carried Jason D. Fisher down the mountain. This is my second year with the Summit Project and I believe it is a great idea. Jason seemed like an amazing guy and I know we all have someone like that in our life and I couldn’t imagine losing them.” – Paxton

    “During the Summit Project, I carried Jason D. Fisher up the mountain. Jason seemed like he was an exciting and loving character that could’ve made much more of a difference in the world if it weren’t for that fateful day on November 14th. It was very unfortunate that he passed.” – Indigo

    I would like to personally thank you for sharing Jason and his life with us and others who take part in this amazing program.

     
  11. Rachel Knoblach says:

    To the family and friends of Jason,

    Two weeks ago, Michael Keighley and I hiked up Table Rock Mountain in Maine with 44 teenagers who all have a parent or sibling currently serving in the military. They carried 28 stones up the mountain that day. Here is a letter from the campers that had the honor of carrying your hero.

    “It was an honor to carry your son, Jason. His story was very inspirational and touched me in a special way. The hike was very challenging but the fact that I was hiking for him helped push me through. Thank you for this experience and opportunity. I am so sorry for your loss.”
    – Ryland Kimball, Christian Reed, Lucas Jordan, and Caymen Zephir

     
  12. To all who have honored my son, I truly thank you. This is a wonderful way to keep memories alive and provide some comfort and closure. Thank You again.
    Respectfully yours
    Paul Fisher

     

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