KIA October 2, 2008
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, New York Army National Guard, Jamestown, New York
Died October 2, 2008 in Qara Bagh Karez, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his vehicle rolled over while trying to avoid a suspected IED.
Before he left for Afghanistan in January 2008, Jason von Zerneck told a newspaper that leaving his family behind was “definitely the hardest thing. Some of the soldiers in this unit come from the poorest neighborhoods. These are the people who are putting their lives on the line for the city and the country; and sometimes that is forgotten.”
Von Zerneck, a compliance officer with Bank of America, was a “die-hard Yankees fan” and loved watching New York Rangers games.
His mother , Barbara, said she hoped her son would be remembered by Americans as a brave soldier. “I don’t think there’s enough attention paid to the sacrifices of our soldiers,” she said.
SPC Jason von Zerneck was 33 years old from Queens, New York
Original portrait was presented to his wife, Stephanie, his parents and many of his fellow comrades just returning from their tour in Iraq. This is one of the most memorable presentations to date by Phil and Lisa Taylor, as his unit, just returning from Iraq, had not had the opportunity to mourn for Jason. This presentation was their opportunity to begin their healing process. The presentation was held at the historic 69th Regiment Armory in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2009.