Photo Courtesy of Academy Photo
Capt. Drew N. Jensen, 27, of Clackamas, Oregon, died Sept. 7 in Seattle of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire during combat operations May 7 in Baqubah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), Fort Lewis, Wash. His Battalion was involved in some of the heaviest fighting in Baqouba, which had been an al-Qaida stronghold.
Capt. Jensen was on his second deployment as a mortar platoon leader when a sniper's bullet struck him in the neck in May 2007. His injuries left him a quadriplegic and dependent on a breathing tube. On September 7 doctors and his family followed his wishes and turned off life support at the Puget Sound VA hospital.
Before his death, he designated that a $10,000 fund established in his name should go to help offset the housing costs of other families who travel far to be near their wounded loved one's bedside at the VA Hospital in Seattle.
His family has started a scholarship fund in his name for disadvantaged students who exhibit exceptional leadership. Contributions can be made to the Drew Jensen Memorial Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation, www.ocf1.org
He is survived by his wife, two older brothers and his parents.
The Following article was reprinted
here with permission from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Journey's end for a paralyzed
Capt. Drew Jensen almost lived long enough to see his fellow soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade come home.
One of Jensen's last actions in life was to look out for other wounded soldiers at the VA Hospital in Seattle. Before his death, he designated that a $10,000 fund established in his name should go to help offset the housing costs of other families who travel far to be near their wounded loved one's bedside.
Jensen's wife, as well as other family members and friends, spent nearly 24 hours a day at his bedside.
Doctors at the VA were also able to adjust his ventilator so he could use his own voice when he spoke, which freed up their communication.
"We usually read his lips and while perfecting this talent may help with my future career as a spy, I much prefer to hear his voice," she wrote.
Jensen grew up in Damascus, Ore., became an Eagle Scout and graduated from Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, according to family.
"He's one of the three most wonderful children ever born," his mother, Mardie Jensen, told The Oregonian newspaper. "We'd like to have him remembered for his accomplishments rather than his death."
Jensen had two older brothers.
"Drew Jensen was always an active and passionate person who gave the best of himself to whatever he did," Stacia Jensen said in a statement released last night. "He inspired those around him by embodying the qualities that he valued most: dignity, honor, courage and leadership. For those of us lucky enough to know Drew, we could not have asked for a better husband, son, brother, leader or friend. Drew was a true hero and an example to us all. "
He graduated from West Point in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in history. He was trained as an infantry officer and went through the Ranger school at Fort Benning, Ga. His first station was at Fort Lewis. He was a member of the first Stryker Brigade deployed to Iraq from November 2003 to October 2004. He met and married Stacia just before his second deployment in June 2006.
Jensen's family has set up the Drew Jensen Memorial Fund, which will provide college scholarships for disadvantaged students who show exceptional leaderships. You can contribute through the Oregon Community Foundation at www.ocf1.org.
The WP-ORG Advisors thank the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Lytton Smith, Chief Librarian Seattle Post-Intelligencer for giving us permission to reprint the article.