Monday, October 09, 2006

Justin Jarrett killed by roadside bomb

A Jonesboro family was morning the loss of one of their heroes Sunday evening. Army Specialist Justin Jarrett, 21, was killed in Taji, Iraq Monday when an improvised explosive device detonated next to the vehicle he was riding in. Jarrett later died from his injuries.

His family learned of Jarrett’s death on Friday and for them, he sacrificed his life for a country he loved.

“Justin paid the ultimate price. You see bumper stickers that say, ‘Freedom isn’t free,’ but you just don’t comprehend it until your son pays the ultimate price,” said Jarrett’s mother Caroline Nicolella.

“He believed in what he was doing, he was proud to serve America and I’m proud of him,” said Kathleen, Jarrett’s wife.

Jarrett was home just last month on a two-week leave, but family members had no idea that homecoming would be the last time they would see Jarrett alive.

While he was home, his wife remembered his preoccupation with buying a new car for her so that she had reliable car for their kids.

The two had only been married just over a year and he embraced her 4-year-old daughter as his own child. The couple also has a 9-month-old baby girl.

Jarrett grew up in Jonesboro surrounded by a large family. He enlisted two years ago because he wanted to make a difference and serve his country.

Family members laid photos on a table of photos showing Jarrett from when he was little boy, all the way until just three weeks ago when he was home on leave.

Jarrett’s family said he may have been just 21-years-old, but he lived a full life that was rich with laughter.

Visitation for Jarrett will be Friday at Ford-Stewart funeral home in Jonesboro. He will be buried Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Crest Lawn National Cemetery.

The family has set up the Justin Robert Jarrett Children’s fund through Bank of America to help provide for his children.

From WXIA 11