21, of Streetsboro, Ohio; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Sept. 7 in Mosul from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. Also killed were Sgt. Lee C. Wilson and Spc. Thomas L. Hilbert.
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Roadside explosion kills northeast Ohio soldier in Iraq
The Associated Press…
STREETSBORO, Ohio — A soldier from northeast Ohio was killed by a roadside explosion on his 21st birthday Sept. 7 while serving in Iraq, the Army told family members.
It could take a week or more to return the body of Spc. Jason Hernandez, a 2005 graduate of Streetsboro High School, said David Budzik, who is serving as a family spokesman. Hernandez was sent to Iraq from Fort Bliss, Texas, Budzik said.
Streetsboro Superintendent Tom Giovangnoli said school officials were notified when Hernandez’s mother came to the school to pick up her younger son, Aaron, in this community about 15 miles northeast of Akron.
“The teachers are really upset and the staff, because we all knew him,” said Bob Long, who taught Hernandez freshman social studies. “He was a good kid who had turned himself around.”
Long and Hernandez had stayed in contact since graduation through the Rocket Rowdies, a school spirit group which also provides support to alumni serving in the military.
Giovangnoli said Aaron, a junior varsity football player, was made an honorary captain for Friday night’s football game against Crestwood and was asked to participate in the coin toss. Post-game fireworks were dedicated in the soldier’s honor, Giovangnoli said.
Jason’s father, John Hernandez, is a combat veteran who works as a civilian recruiter for the Army, according to Budzik. The family has an unlisted phone and could not be contacted.