KILLINGWORTH, CT, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY E, 725TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION, 4 BCT, FORT RICHARDSON, AK BAGHDAD, IRAQ 10/10/2007
Army Sergeant Jason Lantieri graduated in 2000 from Haddam-Killingworth High School and earned a business degree from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. Jason had a difficult early childhood with his biological family and became the adopted son of a Killingworth family which included a brother and sister. Jason was full of fun, full of life, and considered military service as an opportunity for adventure, travel, exploration, and learning.
Family and friends note that Jason was a pretty special person. His adoptive sister and brother became very close to Jason. His adoptive brother acknowledged that Jason would want people to follow his lead and always see the good in people. His sister kept books she thought Jason would enjoy and in going through these found that like Huck Finn, Jason also never lost his youthful, boyish spirit. His best friend since seventh grade, and roommate after college, and Wiffle ball teammate confirmed that Jason’s desire to see the world ultimately led him to join the military. Jason enjoyed fishing and in high school, he was a three-sport athlete, playing soccer, basketball and baseball. He had a big heart and a knack for making people laugh. He enjoyed adventure. “Jay” was known to have the biggest dreams of anyone you ever met and was on his way to accomplishing those dreams. Jason’s list of other interests includes snowboarding, sports, gun ranges, hiking, soccer, concerts, summer barbecues and sky diving
Sergeant Lantieri was a paratrooper with two years of service experience. He was assigned to the 725th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division of Fort Richardson, Alaska. He died in Iskandaryah, Iraq on October 10, 2007 of injuries sustained during a vehicle accident. He was twenty-five years old. His unit was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jason was very close to his adopted sister, brother and parents and his goodbye was honored with American flags, fire trucks and Patriot Guard riders. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan presented his family with the Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal and Governor M. Jodi Rell ordered Connecticut and US flags flown at half-staff in his honor.
Jay’s sister used Mark Twain’s words which describe Jason saying that there are endless rivers and oceans in heaven and Jay is aboard his raft made of wood, nails and tape. “Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft doesn’t. You feel mighty free and easy on a raft.”