PHOENIX, AZ, USA U.S. Marines SGT, 2D INTEL BN, (4TH RECON, RCT-7, I MEF FWD), II MEF, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC HIT, IRAQ 11/02/2006
To those who knew him, Staff Sergeant Jason D. Whitehouse was someone who exemplified “honor, courage and commitment.” As a Marine intelligence professional, Whitehouse continually demonstrated excellence in his chosen field and dedication to duty — right up until Nov. 2, 2006 when he was killed during his second tour in Iraq.
With the renaming of the Virginia Beach Young Marines to the Staff Sergeant Jason D. Whitehouse Young Marines, Whitehouse’s life will now inspire dozens of young people to live up to their full potential. The official name change was conducted during a very emotional ceremony at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC) at Dam Neck Annex Feb. 23.
“Today is about honoring Jason and paying tribute to his legacy through the actions of the Virginia Beach Young Marines — the Whitehouse Young Marines,” said Captain Jeff Starr, one of two guest speakers for the event. Starr explained Whitehouse emulated the ideals which are important to the Young Marines. “You’ve chosen a name which exemplifies honor, courage, and commitment; one that embodies the qualities of excellence, self sacrifice and dedication to duty — to the family, to society and to God,” said Starr.
As family members wiped away tears, several Young Marines stood at attention on stage during a slide show, depicting Whitehouse’s life as a son, brother, husband, father, friend and Marine.
Whitehouse was travelling with seven other Marines and an Iraqi interpreter, when their vehicle came under fire. Whitehouse, an expert marksman, was killed by an IED when he exited the vehicle to provide fire support. “He made the ultimate sacrifice in war in defense of American and Iraqi forces,” said Starr.
Staff Sergeant Jason D. Whitehouse re-enlisted in 2003 because he wanted to be there to protect his fellow Marines. But during his second tour in Iraq, he also felt compassion for the country he was fighting in. The first tour … he was basically there helping to protect other Marines. It was rough but he didn’t tell us much, said his mother, Carol Whitehouse Bruno. This tour, he became more sympathetic to the Iraqi people and what they were sacrificing.
Born in Houston, Whitehouse grew up in Phoenix and showed interest in serving in some branch of the U.S. forces. Bruno, who raised her son as a single mom, recalled how he watched the movie, Platoon, at least a dozen times. Shortly after taking a few community college classes, Whitehouse enlisted in 1999.
Although Whitehouse’s widow, Lindsay, could not attend, other family members did and they expressed their gratitude that Whitehouse will be remembered through the Young Marines program.
“It was a great honor to have them remember Jason. His legend will always live on. We couldn’t ask for any more than that,” said Lindsay’s father, Ron Anthony, who travelled with his wife, Tina, from Scottsdale, Ariz. for the ceremony. Both parents thanked the Young Marines and the volunteers for their time in making the program successful.
Starr asked the Young Marines that when they are tempted to make a wrong decision, they think of Whitehouse and “what he surrendered for your freedom. He surrendered his life. Don’t let that life be lost in vain,” concluded Starr.