Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jason Dore remembered

MOSCOW -- A U.S. Army soldier from the tiny Upper Kennebec River Valley town of Moscow was killed in Iraq on Sunday from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device.

Pfc. Jason E. Dore, 25, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, before going to Iraq.

Dore's mother, Gail, and his 15-year-old brother, Logan, live in Moscow. His father, Jody, lives in New Hampshire.

Dore's fiancée, Sophie Belanger, who spent Monday with family members at the home of Dore's grandmother, Lucille McDonald, said it has been tough for the family to come to grips with the loss. "It's not one of those things you comprehend," said Belanger, who had been seeing Dore for seven years and had known him since he was 12. "We're just holding up."

The couple had planned to marry once Dore returned from Iraq in January, she said.

Belanger, who lives in Westbrook, said she was driving on Interstate 95 Sunday night when she learned from Dore's mother that he had been killed.

She said her parents picked her up in Westbrook the following morning so she wouldn't have to drive north alone.

Dore left Valley High School following his junior year and enrolled in the Penobscot Job Corps in Bangor, where he obtained a diploma in welding, his fiancée recalled. He enlisted in the Army in October 2005.

Tiffany Hanf of Moscow remembered her cousin Jason in their younger days, when they used to take family trips and play together.

"I remember taking baths together when we were kids," Hanf recalled. "We were in school together. We used to take family trips to Island Falls.

"He grew into a very handsome and good man and he loved the military," Hanf said. "He was a very proud soldier; that's for sure. He loved what he was doing and we're very, very proud of him."

Retired principal and teacher Linda Hunnewell, who worked in the Bingham school system for more than 40 years, remembered Dore as a lively boy who loved people.

"I had him in elementary school as a principal and I also worked with him some in junior high, and he was such a nice young man," Hunnewell said. "He was good-natured and always wanting to please people. He was high-energy and could get into mischief, but it was never malicious. He had an awfully good heart and really, really liked people."

Hunnewell said the Job Corps helped Dore evolve into the fine man he became.

"That helped him in growing up," she said.

"He wanted to do well in life; he worked very hard at trying to do the right thing. He certainly is going to be a person that's going to be missed. His mom worked real hard and really, really loved her child and wanted nothing but the best for him."

Hunnewell said it was a shame to lose such a wonderful young man in the prime of his life. "He was handsome, young, solidly built and really good-natured," Hunnewell said. "I admire his willingness to go overseas, but I certainly am sad he had to go under such circumstances. He sacrificed himself and should be remembered, recognized and appreciated that he was willing to give of himself like that."

Dore is the third soldier Maine has lost in Iraq in a month and the second from his brigade.

Sgt. Joel A. House, whose parents live in Lee, was killed June 23 in Iraq.

A casualties assistance officer with the Maine National Guard visited Dore's family Monday, according to National Guard Maj. Michael Backus. Backus said Monday he did not yet know when Dore's body would arrive in Maine.

In a press release, Gov. John Baldacci expressed his condolences to the family. He ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of the soldier's funeral.

"I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of this promising young man," Baldacci said. "Pfc. Dore loved doing what he was doing, and always gave of himself. The family is really suffering from this tremendous loss. We will do everything we can to stand with them and support them during this very difficult time."

There was no word Monday from Department of Defense or Fort Hood sources as to what mission Dore was performing when he was killed.

From the Kennebec Journal

Related Link:
Jason Dore reported killed in Iraq