ORLANDO, FL, US
SSG, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 75TH RANGER, HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, GA
08/28/2009, PAKTIKA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Washington, Sep 8, 2009 –
Mr. MICA. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to Jason Dahlke, 29, who died August 29, 2009, while serving our nation in Afghanistan on his sixth deployment in support of the War on Terror. Staff Sergeant Dahlke was a distinguished soldier serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
Staff Sergeant Jason Dahlke was born on November 8, 1979, in Tampa and was raised in Jacksonville with his brother and three sisters. Prior to joining the Army, he attended the University of Central Florida where he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and married his grade school sweetheart Niki Marie Norvell Dahlke. Mrs. Dahlke recalls her husband as her “best friend” and “hero.”
We should all remember Staff Sergeant Dahlke’s courage and his ultimate sacrifice for our nation. The freedom and liberty we enjoy and the peace in the world for others for which he fought are part of the great legacy that Staff Sergeant Dahlke leaves behind. He was laid to rest at the new Jacksonville National Veterans Cemetery on September 5, 2009. Staff Sergeant Jason Dahlke is the first American killed in combat to be interred at Florida’s newest veterans cemetery.
Staff Sergeant Dahlke will be remembered as a dedicated servant of the country he loved. During his time in the Army, Staff Sergeant Dahlke received a Purple Heart and two Army Commendation Medals that he never mentioned to his parents. They only learned of their son’s achievements by way of the internet. In one of his last conversations with his parents, Staff Sergeant Dahlke told his family that he loved his job and that he would continue to do it as long as he could serve. Colonel Michael E. Kurilla, 75th Ranger Regiment commander, stated that Staff Sergeant Dahlke “embodied the Ranger Creed and all that is good, noble and honored in our Rangers.”
With the passing of Staff Sergeant Dahlke, America has lost an outstanding citizen and a shining example of service to our nation. He will be remembered as a patriotic American, a pillar of our community and a compassionate husband and a loving son.
To his wife Niki, his mother Deborah, his father Roger and his loving family and friends, we offer our deepest sympathy.
Madam Speaker, it is my privilege to recognize Staff Sergeant Jason Dahlke’s contributions and to ask that all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives join me in recognizing his heroic service in our nation’s Armed Forces.