Army CPL Jaron D. Holliday
KIA August 2, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska
Army CPL Jaron Holliday died August 2, 2007, when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle he was riding in during combat operations in Hawr Rajab, Iraq. Also killed were SGT Dustin S. Wakeman and CPL Jason K. Lafleur.
Jaron always wanted to be in the armed forces and began researching which branch he wanted to go into when he was a mere eleven years old. He finally joined the Army in 2005, when he was nineteen. “That was always his desire, to go into the military and serve,” his mother, Kelly Holliday, said. “When 9/11 happened, he was 15 and said, ‘If I were old enough to serve, I would’.” SPC Juan Alcivar told the Holliday family of the special qualities Jaron had. Alcivar said he and CPL Holliday did their basic training together in Alaska, and remembered one day when the temperature was minus 58 degrees. Alcivar said the soldiers stood around shivering, when CPL Holliday was the first to lighten the mood offering hugs to help warm their cold bodies. “He had that kind of personality,” Alcivar said. “That smile. That was Jaron. There was never a sad moment around him.”
The oldest of eight siblings, Jaron was home-schooled and graduated through the Christian Home Education Fellowship of Oklahoma in 2004. At his graduation, he played the piano and received a standing ovation. “Jaron was a people-watcher,” his mother said. “He loved people. He was the kind of person who, if he saw someone sitting by themselves looking depressed or upset, he made it his mission to make them smile before he left, and usually accomplished that goal.” Jaron believed deeply in God, which gave him the selfless courage he showed overseas in the defense of the nation. Pastor Elisha Verge said Jaron went from having a Broken Arrow address to living on “Hallelujah Boulevard, around the corner from that glorious throne we’ll all come one day to share—This young man,” he recalled, “ sacrificed his life for others.” John Holliday said his son was always able to turn a bad situation into a good one with his outpouring of love. “I learned from him. He didn’t like to see people hurt,” John said, telling mourners at his funeral that his son always rallied to the defense of the less fortunate. Then, looking down on the flag-draped coffin, John Holliday said, “Son, you did a good thing. You did good.”
CPL Jaron Holliday was 21 years old from Tulsa, Oklahoma
Original portrait was presented May 15, 2009, to Jaron’s mother and younger brother during a special memorial event honoring Gold Star families and their fallen loved ones in Amarillo, Texas.
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