FAIRFAX STATION, VA, USA U.S. Army PFC, COMPANY B, 3D BATTALION, 75TH RANGER REGIMENT (MNC-I) FORT BENNING, GA HUSAYBAH, IRAQ 10/29/2005
A 20-year-old Edison High School graduate from Fairfax Station who volunteered for combat service was killed in Iraq Friday, less than a year after enlisting in the military.
Private First Class Dillon M. Jutras, part of the U.S. Army’s famed 75th Ranger Regiment, died in the country’s Al Anbar Province Oct. 28 from injuries sustained while conducting combat operations, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office. He was in the regiment’s 3rd battalion.
“The pride his family feels for Dillon’s achievements is immeasurable. … He will always be in the hearts of those whose lives he touched,” the Jutras family said in a released statement.
Jutras, an Army Ranger rifleman based out of Fort Benning, Georgia, was deployed to Iraq this past August in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He enlisted in the Army in December 2004, an uncle said.
His military awards and decorations include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist badge.
“He was just a healthy, strong athletic guy,” said Steve Silvey, Jutras’ uncle.
He said Jutras was a fan of running and played soccer in high schools and clubs in both Virginia and North Carolina. Other loves included bowling, his 1986 Dodge pickup truck and rock music from the 1980s. However, most of all, “he loved his family,” Silvey said.
Jutras, born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, according to Army officials, was posthumously recommended for the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.
According to the family, Jutras geared much of his life to follow in the “footsteps” of his father, Pierre Jutras, a major in the U.S. Army. Jutras was a junior reserve officer training cadet at Hoke County High School in North Carolina and at Edison in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. He was also involved in George Mason University’s senior ROTC program the year he was there.
Edison’s Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Berry said it is rare that a graduate of the county school system’s JROTC program enters the military so soon after high school. Since Jutras left Edison just before he took over as department chair, Berry could not comment on his death.
His family said Jutras decided to join the Army while at GMU. A short time later, after finishing his initial military training earlier this year, Jutras then told his commanders he wanted to fight in Iraq. The decision did not surprise the family.
“He wanted to serve his country,” Silvey said. “And we’re very proud of that.”
Jutras is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.