KIA May 2, 2004
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
Private Jeremy Drexler died May 2, 2004 when his convoy hit an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq. Also killed in the attack was SPC Ervin Caradine, Jr.
Jeremy Lee Drexler was born to Karl and Debbie Griffin Drexler July 20, 1980 in Fort Leavenworth. “Jeremy was trained to be a fighter and he died a fighter. He felt it was his duty,” his mother, Deborah Drexler, stated. “Jeremy was the kindest fellow who ever lived. He was a very goodhearted and giving person. He would give the shirt off his back if it would help somebody. He was the finest young man you could ever meet,” his mother concluded. Jeremy graduated from Washburn Rural High School in 1999, enlisted in the Army on November 13, 2002 and was deployed to Iraq in January of 2004. Debbie’s last form of contact with her son was about a month before he was killed, when he thanked her for a care package she sent to him that included shampoo, soap, and snacks.
“I was sitting on the porch one day, thinking about the son we lost to this war and thoughts came to me; What is an American Idol? Should it be a singer or someone that has a talent or should it be someone that really is a true American Idol?,” Debbie Drexler wrote. “I envision myself going on the stage, carrying my son’s boots and hat, following behind me only a few feet are two handsome Soldiers in full uniform, carrying the U.S. flag between them. One a Marine and One a Sailor, both so handsome, and both my sons. All eyes are on us as we approach the center of the stage with the light following us. Standing in front are the judges with the names: Honor, Pride, and Freedom. I reached for the microphone, hands trembling and tears running down my face. “I am only a mother, I have no talent to speak of, and of all I have done in this world, nothing is greater than raising three honorable and fine sons. One gave his life for the freedoms, freedoms that we take for granted.” The Freedom judge had tears in her eyes and she rose to her feet and said, “I know their names, I know what they’ve done. As long as there is life, they will never be forgotten.”
PFC Jeremy L. Drexler was 23 years old from Topeka, Kansas.
Original portrait presented on May 15, 2009 to his mother during a special event held in Amarillo, Texas.
Artist Comment: This portrait depicts Jeremy (Center) with his brothers, both still active in the Marines and Navy. A special gift for his mother, Debbie. Be encouraged and we will never forget!