|From The Daily Reporter greenfieldreporter.com
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 17, 2011 - 1:15 pm
Last Updated: April 17, 2011 - 1:15 pm
Company commander says Marine from Mississippi died while saving colleagues in Afghanistan
BRANDON, Miss. — Marine Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers was helping protect his U.S. military colleagues in Afghanistan when a weapon detonated and killed him, his company commander, Capt. John Shubeck, said Saturday as Rogers was buried in Brandon.
Rogers was killed April 7 in the Helmand province. He was 28.
Shubeck said Rogers went twice through an area riddled with explosives to arrange for two wounded Marines to be evacuated. On his third pass through, he used a metal detector to search for weapons and one detonated and killed him.
Shubeck said Rogers saved others' lives.
"Had (Rogers) not taken the point man position in order to provide freedom of movement ... the lead team would most certainly have struck the (device) and led to the lost lives of most, if not all, of the engineer squad," Shubeck said.
The Clarion-Ledger reported that hundreds turned out for Rogers' funeral at Pinelake Church and burial in New Brandon Cemetery. Many more lined the streets waving flags and holding homemade signs in his honor.
Rogers was a 2000 graduate of Brandon High School.
Amanda Murphy of Brandon gathered with others along College Street in Brandon. Murphy, 53, said her son went to high school with Rogers. "He said Jason was a great kid," she said.
Rogers was a prankster and always had a smile on his face, his family recalled. He loved basketball and the outdoors and was known to be compassionate and generous.
"He was the type of person who would give the shirt off of his back even if it was the only one he had," his family wrote in a program distributed at the funeral. "Jason could never walk by someone who was homeless without giving them something or at least talking to them."
Rogers joined the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He served as a combat engineer for eight years and was deployed six times, five for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Shubeck said Rogers was someone who "exemplified the term 'Marine.' "
"He was slow to yell, quick to correct and happy to praise," he said. "I'm grateful to have known him and I know that I will never forget what he did for my Marines."