WHITE LAKE, NY, USA
PFC, COMPANY C, 1ST BN, 187TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 2 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
COP CHERGATAW, AFGHANISTAN 03/09/2010
The fellow soldiers of Private First Class Jason Kropat will remember him as “the battle buddy that everyone wanted”.
Kropat was killed March 11 in Khost province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their unit with small-arms fire, indirect fire and rocket-propelled grenades.He was a member of C Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
First Lieutenant John Limauro, the company’s executive officer, said Kropat was “an excellent soldier in every capacity,” and was the first to cheer up his fellow soldiers.
“Jason was always quick with a joke when everyone was down and the situation was undesirable,” Limauro said.
Limauro said Kropat, who came to Fort Campbell in March 2009, was also proactive in his efforts to spread the cheer.
“Jason was the battle buddy that everyone wanted,” Limauro said. “His ability to see his comrades down without words would allow him to cheer anyone up no matter the time of day.”
Jason Kropat loved the outdoors. Many of the activities he did outside centered on White Lake, which flows alongside the New York hamlet of the same name where Kropat lived.
“Everyone who knew him knew he loved White Lake,” said his former girlfriend, Shannon Kinne. “All of us who were friends and close to him all have some memories of him on White Lake, be it fishing … trying to wake board off the back of the boats (or) sitting on the porch drinking a beer relaxing, watching the people go by on their boats.” His fishing skills were chronicled in the local newspaper two years ago – a photo of him proudly displaying a 22-inch trout. Kropat enlisted in the Army in November 2008, partly to prove that he could succeed there, Kinne said.
“He understood the cause. He believed in what he was fighting for,” said his sister, Kimberley.
Kropat attended Monticello High School and later earned his GED. Other survivors include his parents, Glenn and Kathleen Kropat, and sisters Kristina and Courtney.