TULSA, OK, USA U.S. Army CPL, TROOP B, 1ST SQUADRON, 40TH CAVALRY, FORT RICHARDSON, AK HAWR RAJAB, IRAQ 08/04/2007
Family and friends came together to celebrate the life of CPL Jaron Duvall Holliday. The celebration paid lasting homage to his belief in God and the selfless courage he showed in defense of the nation. Holliday, 21, of Broken Arrow, was killed in Iraq.
Ever since he was a youngster, Holliday dreamed of joining the military, and he enlisted in the Army two years ago. He had been home-schooled, and graduated through the Christian Home Education Fellowship of Oklahoma in 2004. Friends, classmates and soldiers came together Monday to tell the Holliday family the impact he had on their lives.
SPC. Juan Alcivar told the Holliday family of the special qualities Jaron Holliday had. Alcivar said he and Holliday did their basic training in Alaska, and remembered one day when the temperature was minus 58 degrees. He said the soldiers stood around shivering when Holliday was the first to reach out with hugs to help warm their cold bodies. “He had that kind of personality,” Alcivar said. “That smile. That was Jaron. There was never a sad moment around him.”
Through her tears, Mollie Putman offered to help the Holliday family in any way she could. She told the family her husband and Holliday were the best of friends in the Army, and how they vowed they would look after each other’s family. Her husband, CPL. Cody Putman, 22, was killed in Iraq five months previously.
Several clergymen who have known the Holliday family offered comforting words and kind remembrances of him. Pastor Elisha Verge said Jaron Holliday went from having a Broken Arrow address to living on “Hallelujah Boulevard, around the corner from that glorious throne we’ll all come one day to share.” “This young man,” he said, “sacrificed his life for others.”
Pastor Marshall Gordon with the Crossover Bible Church in Tulsa, where the Holliday family worships, told mourners that Jaron Holliday is in “the best place possible,” and he urged them to rejoice in that thought.
John Holliday said his son was always able to turn a bad situation into a good one with his outpouring of love.
“I learned from him,” the father said. “He didn’t like to see people hurt,” he said, telling mourners his son always rallied to the defense of the less fortunate. “I’m going to miss him, our talks.”
Then, looking down on the flag-draped coffin, John Holliday said, “Son, you did a good thing. You did good.”
Kelly Holliday said the military was always part of her son’s life. “We’re so very proud of our hero today,” she said. “Jaron,” she said looking down at his casket, “you are truly my hero. You have finished strong.”
Kelly Holliday, who has been diagnosed with cancer, received a standing ovation after she powerfully and passionately sang the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”.
Doves were released by John Holliday and his children. In addition to his parents, Holliday is survived by a sister, Jada, and six brothers: John III, Joshua, Jeremiah, Josiah, Justus and Jamin.